Monday, April 29, 2013

ZRA engages experts to monitor mineral exports
By Gift Chanda
Thu 25 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

LOW capacity to ensure correct taxes are paid through effective monitoring of production and exports from the extractive industry has hampered ZRA's ability to improve revenue collection, says commissioner general Berlin Msiska.

Msiska said the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has since engaged four experts in the mining industry to implement mechanisms for monitoring and facilitating the exports of minerals outside Zambia.

The four experts - Dr Sixtus Mulenga, a mining geologist consultant, Pius Maambo, a former operations and corporate planning director at ZCCM, Dr Silane Mwenechanya, a Metallurgist, and Urbano Mutati, former ZCCM general manager in charge of Metal Marketing and Sales locally and worldwide - will review mechanisms for monitoring the mining and mineral value chain from exploration to exportation in Zambia, develop and implement mechanisms for monitoring and facilitating the export of minerals outside the country.

Msiska said at the signing ceremony that the ZRA and the government were convinced that the consultants would deliver as they have the right knowledge and experience to carry out the task at hand and commended them for taking up the assignment.

Msiska added that ZRA needed to collect more revenue for the government to implement various social and economic projects that would improve the welfare of all Zambians.

Government estimates showed the country was losing as much as US $1billion each year through tax avoidance and the government this year seeks to closely monitor mining companies.

ZRA commissioner of domestic taxes Priscilla Banda said the agency has with the support of Norway received technical and financial support to improve mine audits and compliance under a four year project which began in 2011.

She said seminars had been held in tax audit skills and tax inspectors and auditors from the two countries have undertaken joint audits.
ZRA personnel have also been exposed to the workings of the London Metal Exchange and seminars on transfer pricing, hedging and derivatives have been done, added Banda.

Zambia collected K4.4 billion (US$830.19 million) in mining taxes last year compared with K3.3 billion in 2011.

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