Tuesday, March 18, 2008
By Joan Chirwa
Monday March 17, 2008 [03:00]
THE launch of the Taxpayers Charter by ZRA will create certainty in business transactions among companies, Zambia Business Forum (ZBF) chief executive Reginald Mfula has said. Mfula, in a press release, stated that the newly launched Taxpayers Charter would ensure companies operated with certainty once the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) remained true to the charter.
“ZRA has taken a very important step towards transparency and predictability in all its business transactions. If ZRA is true to its charter, companies will be able to operate with the certainty that business transactions will be completed in a timely manner, thereby enabling them to make informed financial decisions and eliminating the temptation to make unofficial results or facilitate payments to achieve results,” Mfula stated.
“For example, if ZRA stands behind its commitment to refund customs duties within 30 days, or to refund customs deposits within 48 hours, Zambia will be among the leaders in Southern Africa. This is good for business and great for Zambia.”
The ZBF represents business associations in Zambia's key economic sectors such as mining, farming, manufacturing, and banking.
In its recent ranking of countries Doing Business in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank placed Zambia 11th among the 46 countries in the region.
However, in terms of the factor called Trading Across Borders, Zambia was only 34th in the region, highlighting the importance of ZRA’s new Taxpayer Charter and the service standards it contains.
And Mfula has commended ZRA for involving the business community in the actual development of its service standards.
Other government institutions developing customer charters to improve services are the Ministry of Lands and the Department of Immigration, both of which are essential to a properly functioning business environment that would lead to job creation and economic growth.