New mine tax to sta­bi­lize the sec­tor-Mwanakatwe

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

THE new mine tax regime is an ini­tia­tive to­wards pol­icy sta­bil­i­sa­tion and pre­dictabil­ity for the sec­tor, says min­is­ter of fi­nance Mar­garet Mwanakatwe. Ms Mwanakatwe said that through sev­eral tax mea­sures an­nounced in the 2019 Na­tional Bud­get Speech, do­mes­tic re­source mo­bil­i­sa­tion would be strength­ened to en­sure that obli­ga­tions such as debt ser­vic­ing, and pro­grammes re­lated to so­cial de­vel­op­ment and eco­nomic growth were not derailed. The min­is­ter said this when she ad­dressed over 30 in­vestors from Asia, the United States of Amer­ica, the United King­dom and Main­land Europe, dur­ing a Stan­dard Char­tered Bank or­ga­nized in­vest­ment fo­rum held on the side­lines of the ongoing An­nual Meet­ings of the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund and the World Bank. The fo­rum was held at the Ritz Carl­ton Ho­tel in Bali. Ms Mwanakatwe told in­vestors that man­u­fac­tur­ing, the agri­cul­ture value-chain, tourism, en­ergy de­vel­op­ment, the precious met­als sub­sec­tor, and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment through pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ships, of­fered the great­est prospects for green­field in­vest­ments. Asked about the Chi­nese por­tion of the coun­try’s debt port­fo­lio, Ms Mwanakatwe as­sured the in­vestors that the to­tal debt owed to China was be­low 30 per­cent. She as­sured the in­vestors that mea­sures were be­ing im­ple­mented to en­sure that Zam­bia re­mained within sus­tain­able thresh­olds for both do­mes­tic and for­eign debt. Ms Mwanakatwe in­formed the in­vestors that the process of as­set and li­a­bil­ity man­age­ment for the loans ob­tained from China, which process be­gan dur­ing the FOCAC meet­ing, was now in mo­tion. The Min­is­ter also said the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of debt re­pay­ment obli­ga­tions, made it dif­fi­cult for the Zam­bian Gov­ern­ment to con­ceal any debt or to de­fault. “It just can­not hap­pen,” she af­firmed, and fur­ther clar­i­fied that, “the quar­terly ad­just­ments in the fig­ures have been due to new dis­burse­ments from loans that were pre­vi­ously ob­tained and for which projects are ongoing,” he said. Ms Mwanakatwe also in­di­cated that Gov­ern­ment was re­solved in fo­cus­ing on ac­cess pro­gramme fi­nanc­ing from mul­ti­lat­eral and bi­lat­eral part­ners and to a lesser ex­tent, con­ces­sional fi­nanc­ing, to sup­ple­ment its do­mes­tic re­source mo­bil­i­sa­tion drive. She ex­plained that that the Loans and Guar­an­tees Au­tho­riza­tion Act of Zam­bia, cur­rently as­signed the man­date of loan con­trac­tion to her of­fice. “There­fore, no Min­istry or Prov­ince has been able to con­tract any loan with­out in­put from the trea­sury, my Min­istry,” said Ms Mwanakatwe.

Ms Mwanakatwe

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