GOVERNMENT says the current mineral royalty tax is final and it will not go back on its word.
Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda said the new mineral regime is a fair route and makes it simple for the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the mines to plan.
Mr Chikwanda said this in Lusaka yesterday when he received a K219 million dividend cheque from Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) Investments Holdings.
“The new mining taxation structure is final. We changed from the corporate profit tax because it was elusory and only two companies paid,” he said.
Mr Chikwanda said the mining taxation has been left for ZRA to administer and Government will not give the authority instructions on how to implement it.
He said Government is off-loading 27 percent of its shareholding in ZCCM to the public.
He urged ZCCM to look for an international market if it cannot find any locally.
Mr Chikwanda said the shareholding of state enterprises, such as ZCCM will this year be moved from the Ministry of Finance to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which will become fully operational this year.
He said ZCCM’s incorporation under the IDC is critical since it is listed on the stock exchange in Lusaka and London.
“We want ZCCM to have a much greater meaningful participation in mining other than holding shares,” Mr Chikwanda said.
Speaking earlier, ZCCM chief executive officer Pius Kasolo said he is delighted to have presented the first ever dividend cheque to Government, the majority shareholder .
And the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has advised Government to prioritise the interests of Zambians as it dialogues with mining companies over the mineral royalty tax.
CCZ general secretary Suzanne Matale said in a letter dated January 9 that Government should safeguard the interests of Zambians by ensuring that there is responsible investment in the mining industry.