‘Re­verse 15% tax for Sun Ho­tel

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By SI­MON MUNTEMBA

GOVERN­MENT should lis­ten to con­cerns raised by lo­cal tour op­er­a­tors and re­verse the 15 per­cent tax in­cen­tive of­fered to Sun In­ter­na­tional to level the play­ing field, Cit­i­zen Demo­cratic Party (CDP) leader Richard Mwanza has ad­vised. Speak­ing in an in­ter­view on Mon­day, Mr Mwanza said it was not fair for Govern­ment, through the Zam­bia De­vel­op­ment Agency (ZDA), to slap a 35 per­cent tax on lo­cals while of­fer­ing for­eign in­vestors a low 15 per­cent tax. “It is not fair at all for im­pos­ing 35 per­cent on lo­cals do­ing the same busi­ness with the Sun In­ter­na­tional, now trad­ing as Avani which has been of­fered low tax in­cen­tives since 1999. “What is so spe­cial about this Avani that it should be pay­ing 15 per­cent tax when other many Zam­bians do­ing the same busi­ness and of­fer­ing the same ser­vices are over taxed? Let Govern­ment re­verse the whole deal,” Mr Mwanza said. “My ap­peal to the govern­ment is to make the tax uni­form not to favour cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als,” he added. Mr Mwanza’s re­marks comes af­ter the ZDA was ac­cused of aid­ing for­eign in­vestors, such as Sun In­ter­na­tional, now trad­ing as Avani which was be­ing charged only 15 per­cent com­pany tax. Lo­cal tourist op­er­a­tors have de­manded that the tax in­cen­tive be re­versed be­cause it was un­fair and dis­ad­van­taged lo­cal op­er­a­tors. The lo­cal op­er­a­tors con­tended that the move had caused in­con­sis­ten­cies in the tourism sec­tor. On Mon­day, TIKAS lodge pro­pri­etor, Peter Banda said Govern­ment must quickly ad­dress the in­con­sis­ten­cies in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of taxes in order to level the play­ing field in the tourism sec­tor. He said it was un­fair for Govern­ment to al­low Sun in­ter­na­tional ho­tel, now op­er­at­ing as AVANI Vic­to­ria Falls Re­sort, to be pay­ing 15 per­cent tax when other play­ers in the same sec­tore were pay­ing more.

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