Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sampa says he requested for transfer from finance ministry
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe and Henry Sinyangwe
Mon 13 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

MILES Sampa says he is happy to have been part of the formulation of Statutory Instrument 32 that seeks to plug income leakages Zambia experiences through tax avoidance and transfer pricing. And Sampa says he had requested for a transfer from the Ministry of Finance, which President Michael granted.

Sampa was last week moved from Ministry of Finance to commerce in the same portfolio of deputy minister to swap with Chilanga MMD member of parliament Keith Mukata.

"I am very grateful to President Sata for considering my request for a transfer. I am very ready for new challenges at the Ministry of Commerce," he said.

And Sampa said the formulation of SI 32 to guide the implementation of the 2013 amendments to the Bank of Zambia Act would help Zambia stop losing income through tax avoidance, income leakages and export trade anomalies.

"… This SI is just doing the obvious that also happens elsewhere whether its Europe or United States and even in Africa…its only that we have gone a step further in trying to stop income leakages, transfer pricing and tax avoidance," Sampa said.

He said SI 32 did not seek to compel foreign investors to deposit their pledged investment into a local bank but that the government wanted to ensure tax incentives provided for under the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) were not abused by unscrupulous people.

"We are not saying they should bring all their money, no! What we want to achieve is to create a monitoring mechanism to ensure that we monitor that the money or equipment for which we gave these investors tax concessions do come into the country," Sampa said.

"So, this reference account to be domiciled with a local commercial bank is just for the purpose of auditing because these tax incentives can be up to 15 years. We are not saying they should bring all their money here."

He said the introduction of SI 32 was consistent with global trends as countries tightened income loses from multinational corporations via transfer pricing and tax avoidance, among other practices.

"In Zambia, we are our own enemies. Anybody who puts Zambia as number one priority will welcome the theme behind this SI but those investors or traders who put Zambia as number two priority will have a problem with it as they think Zambia should always disadvantage itself in the name of free market economy," Sampa said. "We have tried to channel all transactions above $10,000 via banks because banks keep records for at least 15 years."

He said investors needed not seek permission from Bank of Zambia or any other government agency for them to import or export save to ensure that proper documentation and transaction trails are in place through their commercial bank.

And Sampa yesterday handed over a KR340,000-worth ambulance purchased through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to Chingwere Referal Clinic to service his constituency.

Handing over the ambulance, Sampa said he was determined to improve the living standards of people in Matero.

"Lusaka district has only four ambulances that service the 28 health centres in the district. However, with efforts like this one we are witnessing today, this shall be a thing of the past," he said.

Sampa said his office would also purchase graders and trucks to repair roads in the next three months.

"In Matero, we believe in doing things on our own. As we wait for the government progammes to develop the nation, we will continue carrying out development programmes in our constituency," said Sampa.

And 82-year-old Matero resident, Roy Chileshe said transportation of patients had been a problem, saying the purchase of the ambulance was therefore timely.

"If all MPs can utilise CDF like this, it would be nice. This is the time our nation should move forward," said Chileshe.

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