Saturday, January 19, 2008

(TIMES) New tax regime on mining cheers PF MP

New tax regime on mining cheers PF MP
By Times Reporter

PATROTIC Front (PF)’s Bahati member of Parliament, Besa Chimbaka, has welcomed the Government’s new tax regime on mining and urged the State to ensure the benefits of the mineral loyalties trickle down to the improvement of social services. Mr Chimbaka told Parliament on Wednesday evening that proceeds from the new tax measures should be used to benefit a lot of infrastructure development projects and the livelihood of the people should be improved on.

Mr Chimbaka was debating on a motion of thanks on President Mwanawasa’s Parliamentary Speech. On Agriculture, he said President Mwanawasa’s statement that the country was moving from sacrifice to wealth creation making the economy work for the people should be taken seriously.

“Whether we are PF, United Liberal Party (ULP), MMD or any political party, we need to ensure this country move forward,” he said.

Mr Chimbaka was, however, disappointed with the Government over the non-re-stocking of fish in Luapula Province despite knowing agriculture was key to national development.

On the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) participation, he commended Dr Mwanawasa for starting the Constitution-making process.

“I commend President Mwanawasa without fear or favour for constituting a forum to enable Zambians sit and make a Constitution which I believe is not going to be based on tribal lines. The President has lived up to his word,” he said.

But PF Lusaka Central MP, Guy Scott, said he could not participate in the NCC because in its current form the NCC Act was defective.

On the mineral agreements, Dr Scott wondered what consultations the Government made when the mine owners recently in the Press were quoted to receive the new tax regime on mines with mixed feelings.

He called on the Government to quickly tell the House what was contained in the new mine agreements.

Mulobezi MP Michael Mabenga (MMD) said President Mwanawasa had done a lot to develop the rural areas in Lukulu, Mongu Solwezi among others.

In his contribution on the same motion, Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Deputy Minister, Toddy Chilembo, said the long journey of making the Constitution finally had started and all should participate.

On the mineral agreement, Mr Chilembo said his Government embraced the idea, which would ensure that the mining investors paid more taxes.

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