Randy Deputy Minister of Finance Christopher Mvunga told Parliament that Government owes 14 mining companies a total of K5.25 billion in the form of value added tax refunds.
And they expect the mines to operate profitably, pay workers and more tax?
Mr Mvunga named the mining companies as Chambishi Copper Smelter, Chambishi Metals, CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines, Genesis Procurement Limited, Grizzly Mining Limited, Kagem Mining and Kansanshi Mines Plc.
Others are Kariba Minerals, Konkola Copper Mines, Lubambe Copper Mine Limited, Sable Zinc Kabwe Limited, San He Zambia Limited and Sino-Metal leach.
Mvunga claimed that the VAT amounts owed to the mining companies are being paid as and when the taxpayers provide the necessary documentary evidence for VAT claims.
Mvunga is currently on the spotlight after his sexual affair with a married journalist Priscilla Chipulu Zimba has been exposed.