Stakeholders propose import duty on dairy products

dairy products
dairy products
dairy products

STAKEHOLDERS in the agro sector have proposed the introduction of import duty on dairy products from within Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) regions.
The stakeholders say the imposition of a 15 per cent import duty on all dairy products from the two regions would make locally produced milk competitive and stimulate its consumption.a
This is according to a joint proposal for tax and non-tax measures to Ministry of Finance for the 2014 national Budget by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ) and the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ).
The consortium said an import duty of 15 per cent on imported dairy products will increase the cost of reconstituted milk, thereby making locally produced milk competitive to stimulate job and wealth creation for Zambians.
“This measure will also provide an alternative source of revenue for the Government to realise substantial income and help protect the local dairy industry.
The stakeholders, however, proposed that skimmed milk, which is currently receiving a duty concession of five per cent, should be zero-rated as it cannot stifle the operations of the local industry.
They also said Government shAould consider removing the import duty on animal feed supplements from the SADC Free Trade Area because Zambia is a member state of the region.
“This in the end increases the cost of stockfeed for livestock production, and as such it, becomes prohibitive to most small-scale farmers,” they said.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) has urged Government to reduce duty from 25 per cent to 10 per cent on all intermediary inputs used in the manufacturing sector.
ZAM said in their proposals towards the 2014 national budget that this measure will correct the existing anomaly under which tax is charged on intermediary products as if they were the final goods.