Monday, February 11, 2013

(LUSAKATIMES) Zambia Sugar brands ActionAid report on tax evasion as inaccurate

Zambia Sugar brands ActionAid report on tax evasion as inaccurate
Time Posted: February 11, 2013 5:53 am

Zambia Sugar has dismissed the report by ActionAid that it was involved in evading tax remittance in Zambia.

Spokesperson Lovemore Sievu said the report by ActionAid was full of inaccuracies, adding that Zambia Sugar that was engaged in anything illegal, immoral or in any way designed to reduce the tax rightly payable to the Zambian government

“We categorically deny the report by ActionAid. The report is absolutely full of inaccuracies. Zambia Sugar meets all its legal obligations including tax,” he said.

Mr Sievu said Zambia Sugar was one of the largest foreign exchange earner and employer in Zambia. He said the company was also the single largest tax payer in the agricultural sector.

“We are very proud of Zambia Sugar and the major contribution that it makes to the Zambian economy,” he said.

Mr Sievu said that despite Illovo’s attempts to persuade ActionAid to improve its report by correcting errors and introducing more balance into its analysis, ActionAid had decided to publish a highly inflammatory account of the company’s tax position that is incomplete at best and factually wrong in places.

Illovo had engaged openly with ActionAid to set out the correct position.

“ActionAid have failed to reflect this in their report. ActionAid has clearly decided that its campaign should take priority over the facts,” he ssaid.

A report released by Action Aid International Zambia revealed that Zambia Sugar PLC, producer of White Spoon Sugar and other household brands, was evading tax remittance in Zambia.

The report which was released in Lusaka yesterday indicated that Zambia Sugar PLC had been avoiding remitting full tax since 2007.

Action Aid Zambia Country Director Pamela Chisanga said the continuous trend by Zambia Sugar and other corporate entities of avoiding paying taxes deprives the poor Zambians from having access to basic necessities.

She added that due to these corporate institutions avoidance to remit revenue to government, the vulnerable Zambians have continued to live in adverse poverty.

“If Zambia is ever going to end its dependence on foreign aid, it must first be able to raise the money needed to provide for its own citizens. Taxes are a sure source of sustainable income. Taxes pay for critical public services like healthcare, good infrastructure, clean water and many other social amenities,” she said.

Ms Chisanga has since called on all Zambians to join hands and take urgent action in ending tax evading among corporate entities in the country.

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