Govt has no money to pay exporters – Chipimo

The opposition National Restoration Party (NAREP) has charged that the real issue with Value Added Tax (VAT) Rule 18 is that the government has run out of money and has used funds required to repay exporters.

Addressing journalists today during a press briefing in Lusaka, NAREP President Elias Chipimo Junior says the government now need to find a reason to delay the payments and to put the blame on someone else.

Mr. Chipimo notes that the delays are most likely contributing to the poor performance of the economy by dampening investor confidence and depriving ordinary fathers, mothers and youth workers of their pay and employment.

Mr. Chipimo states that Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has tried to do the honourable thing by acknowledging this truth.

He says if any former finance minister is claiming that the current finance minister has benefited from the mining companies and wants to return the favour by paying them their VAT refunds, they should share with the nation how they benefited when they did the same thing while serving in that capacity.

The NAREP Leader has advised that there is need for not to blindly condemn everything that happens in Zambia but instead examine and change the things that are really causing harm to the people.

He explains that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) charges VAT on all the equipment and raw materials that are imported by mining companies and other exporters.

He furthermore explains that under the current law, the VAT is supposed to be refunded once the copper they produce is exported.

He says ever since VAT Rule 18 was first introduced in 1997, there has been a requirement for exporters to provide copies of import documentation from the country into which the goods are being imported before claiming any refund from ZRA for input VAT.

Mr. Chipimo says every finance minister since 1997 has been refunding mining companies for the VAT that they pay when they bring goods and equipment into this country.

Mr. Chipimo says he finds it strange that the current finance minister is being criticised in the media recently by some of his predecessors for advocating VAT refunds to mining companies – something they themselves did regularly over the past 17 years.

( Sunday 28th September 2014 )

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