15% tax too much – emerald sector

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

@SunZambian

GOVERNMENT should reconsider the 15 percent export tax as it is chocking the emerald sector, Emerald and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) president Victor Kalesha has said.

Mr Kalesha said ESMAZ said 15 percent export tax was too much for the industry as the players were already paying other taxes.

He said the current taxes such as the 15 percent export tax were distracting and discouraging investors in the emerald sector.

Mr Kalesha said this in an interview in Lusaka.

“I think Government should reconsider the introduction of the export tax because it will kill the industry if it is not already killing it. Government should meet the stakeholders on the ground so that we discuss a win-win situation,” he said.

“We are not against the taxes but they should be taxes that are reasonable and attracting investors and not killing the industry. The 15 percent is distracting and killing the industry”.

Mr Kalesha encouraged Government to always engage players of the industry whenever there were changes in taxes.

The 15 percent, he said, might lead to the players in the industry reducing their workforces.

“I think that any time Government wants to introduce taxes like that, it needs to engage stakeholders and players on the ground because of late we have serious investors who are complaining, especially over the export tax and I think that those that are already operating such as Kagem,” Mr Kalesha said.

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