Various stakeholders have started making their submissions to the Ministry of Finance for the 2014 national budget following the ministry’s invitation.
One of the stakeholders that have started submitting is the Tourism Council of Zambia (TCZ) which has requested government to consider extending the implementation period for the waiving of tax on tourism related goods coming into the country to 2014.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today, Council Chairperson Felix Mulenga said although the statutory instrument (SI) was issued during the 2013 budget presentation last year, the instrument was only effected in January to run up to December this year.
He observed that not many technocrats were able to adequately interpret the SI adding that only a few stakeholders have benefitted from the tax waive.
Mr. Mulenga noted that with the country’s hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) next month, Zambia will experience an increase in tourism activities.
He further added that with government expecting about 300,000 jobs in the sector by 2015, there is great need for support in the industry which largely depends on international products.
Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) chairperson, Yusuf Dodia, said his association was still preparing its input for the 2014 budget.
Mr. Dodia explained that the association will first analyze the areas of focus this year to determine what activities should be prioritized in the 2014 national budget.
He said the association was focusing on critical drivers of the national economy which include mining, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) will increase popularity in the Zambian tourism.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) has commended government for the thought to include sector expectations in the 2014 national budget.
Association Chief Executive Officer, Maybin Supila, said the organisation was still compiling its submissions from the policy committee which will be formulated and clustered into sector demands.
Mr. Supila hoped that the process will help address tax and competition issues resulting from imported products currently affecting manufacturing industries.
Other sectors such as the Zambia Chamber of Mines have not yet started the process of preparing submissions towards the 2014 budget.
The Chamber of Mines is awaiting formal communication from government on the same invitation to make submissions.
Last week, the Ministry of Finance through various media organizations called on stakeholders to start making their submissions for the 2014 national budget.