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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

VAT refunds to mining exporters

By Elias Chipimo

Let me start with a surprising statement: 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. This includes Edith Nawakwi (under President Chiluba), Peter Magande (under President Mwanawasa) and Situmbeko Musokotwane (under President Banda).

It was therefore surprising to see the current finance minister, Mr. Alexander Chikwanda, 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, 28 September 2014

The Mining VAT U-turn

Government appears to have completely U-turned on the $600m VAT refund to exporters, with the larger bulk owed to mines and other exporters. ZRA says the U-turn is due to "widespread concern on the matter".

Minister Minister Chris Yaluma says "ZRA will do what they think is right and like they said, they have got the autonomy to run as best as they can to ensure all needed revenues are collected...They are trying to do what they can do best in the interest of the country.” (Source: The Post). No word from Alexander Chikwanda but it appears the U-turn may have President Sata's backing.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Growth and government size in Zambia

By Henry Kyambalesa

In this article, the term "economic growth" refers to an increase in a country's total output of goods and services over a given period. The term "economic development" refers to improvements in the standards of living of a country's citizens. These include sustained and pronounced improvements in per capita income, life expectancy, literacy levels, human capital, healthcare services, food security, public housing, transportation infrastructure, and leisure and recreation.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Fitch revises outlook on Zambia to positive

Editor's note: Fitch today affirmed Zambia's credit rating at 'B', and revised the outlook to positive owing largely to the rebased GDP figures, government revoking BoP regulations and promises to consolidate fiscal spending as part of the ongoing discussion with the IMF on a new austerity programme.  The Fitch assessment does not appear to reflect current information on some issues so some the risks it flags requires deeper consideration. 
Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlook on Zambia's Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to Positive from Stable and affirmed the IDRs at 'B'. The issue ratings on Zambia's senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been affirmed at 'B'. The Country Ceiling has been affirmed at 'B+' and the Short-term foreign currency IDR at 'B'.

Friday, 19 September 2014

President Sata : Parliament Speech 2014

Editor's note : President Michael Sata earlier today delivered the highly anticipated speech to parliament set out the government's agenda in the next parliamentary year. Full speech below, with minor editorial edits for ease of reading.
I am privileged and honoured today to be with you and the members of parliament on this important day of our national calendar to officially open the fourth session of the eleventh national assembly. It is now three years since the patriotic front government took office, and there are only two years before the next elections.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Cash transfers

Community Development Minister Emerine Kabanshi recently announced that the Government plans to extend the cash transfer scheme to cater for up one million households. Government has sensed that it is onto an election winner.

GRZ is currently running two cash protection schemes that gives support to the vulnerable in the community : social cash transfer and social protection fund. The cash transfer is a bi-monthly cash allowance of $25 and $50 dollars for vulnerable households and households where there are people with disabilities respectively.