NO KWACHA PAYMENTS FOR MINERAL ROYALTIES
MINING houses will now pay their mineral royalty tax in foreign exchange, Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has said. Ms Mwanakatwe said this was one of the key measures Government had put in place to lessen the depreciation of the Kwacha against major currencies. She explained that the foreign exchange which would go straight into the Central Bank would help boost the amount of dollars within the bank. The Minister was responding to Livingstone Member of Parliament Mathews Jere in Parliament yesterday, who wanted to know what measures Government had put in place to mitigate the depreciation of the Kwacha against major currencies. “I can confirm that one of the key measures we have put in place is the mining houses will pay their mineral royalty tax in foreign exchange. They won’t be getting that in Kwacha any more. They will be getting that foreign exchange straight into the central bank to boost the amount of dollars within the central bank,” Ms Mwanakatwe said. Ms Mwanakatwe also said Government was ensuring that there was fiscal consolidation. “The next thing we are doing is ensuring that fiscal consolidation is happening, if you look at what we’ve done in the cost reflective fuel and in the budget to reduce costs by an average of 40 percent for Government ministries all that is an effort to reduce the demand on the Kwacha,” she said She added that Government was also ensuring that the country’s export basis was strengthened to mitigate the Kwacha from depreciating. And Ms Mwanakatwe observed that the depreciation in September, 2018 was mainly attributed to increased and lumpy demands of foreign exchange, notably for the procurement of the petroleum products that were compiled and brought into the market in patched orders. She said that markets statements arising from ratings also fuelled the depreciation. The minister was responding to Kantanshi Member of Parliament Anthony Mumba who wanted to know what factors led to the sudden depreciation of the Kwacha in September 2018.