Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda hopes Commerce Minister Margaret Duduzile Mhango Mwanakatwe was misquoted when she said payment of taxes by mining companies under the new mining tax regime can be deferred until companies have sufficient cash flow if they are not in a position to pay immediately.
Chikwanda said Mwanakatwe is aware of the government’s position on the matter. He said the issues to do with tax will be left to the Zambia Revenue Authority.
Chikwanda was speaking in Lusaka when he obtained yet another loan of US$52.5 from the World Bank.
The World Bank gave Zambian Government US$52.5 million for the Zambia Health Services Improvement Project (ZHSIP).
On Tuesday, Mwanakatwe said that payment of mining royalties, which Zambia recently increased, can be deferred until companies have sufficient cashflow if they are not in a position to pay immediately.
Zambia’s government said last year that it would scrap a corporate income tax of 30 percent while increasing mining royalties for companies operating in Africa’s second-largest producer of copper.
Since the tax came into effect this year, however, Zambia’s new president Edgar Lungu has signalled that the country might revise the increase.
“If your company is unable to pay the tax for any reason, we are ready, willing and able to defer your liability. We won’t put away the liability, but we are happy to defer until a point in the future when your cashflows allow you to pay your tax,” Margaret Mwanakatwe told delegates at the Mining Indaba conference