Sunday, February 17, 2008

(DAILY MAIL) Chamber of Mines nods Levy’s tax indaba

Chamber of Mines nods Levy’s tax indaba

THE Chamber of Mines has accepted President Mwanawasa’s invitation to discuss with Government over their concerns on the newly introduced mine tax regime so that misunderstandings can amicably be resolved. General manager, Fred Bantubonse, said yesterday in an interview in Ndola that the mining companies were ready to meet Government to advance their concerns on the new mine tax regime.

“The mining companies are more than ready to meet with Government; that was the reason why we had gone public on the issue,” he said.

Mr Bantubonse said the mining companies had earlier requested for a meeting with Government, which, however, did not materialise. He said the mine development agreements did not only include tax issues but other concerns, such as environmental and local community projects. Mr Bantubonse also refuted allegation that the Chamber of Mines was a cartel for mining companies. He said each sector had its own chamber to look into in the mining sector.

“The chamber represents the interest of the mining companies just like any other association,” he said.

President Mwanawasa has invited mining companies opposed to the proposed tax regime to seek audience with Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr Ng’andu Magande and Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Dr Kalombo Mwansa.

Dr Mwanawasa said the mining firms should be prepared to explain to the government why they were not happy with the proposed increase, which was for the benefit of Zambians.

He said mining taxes in Zambia were still the lowest as compared to other countries whose taxes were between 40 and 53 per cent.

The President said Government was just asking for a fair share of the resources to improve the living standards of the ordinary Zambians and that he still could not understand the criticism.

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