Quite surprising that this story never got much traction in the Zambia media. It appears the government is bent on giving in to the mining companies, despite the IMF position. Here is President Banda in his own words :
The argument has some merit (not necessarily sound), but it raises more questions than answers. Surely when GRZ developed the fiscal regime they considered that prices go up and down? Wasn't this framework developed by "foreign experts" hired by GRZ? Perhaps now is the time for the government to level with the Zambian people and reveal just how they arrived at the new tax thresholds? When is this government going to release the report from "foreign mining experts" they hired to advise us on the fiscal regime, at great cost to the tax payer ? Is the Government now receiving new advice from these "foreign experts" to reduce the taxes? How do we know the new proposed changes are robust, and not simply concocted in the corridors of power, where the mining companies maintain significant lobbying? At the very least we need answers to these questions before we can even begin to address the substance of what government is proposing.
"The government is currently engaged with the industry to make sure that a beneficial financial environment exists for both the government and investors.. My government will do all it can to protect jobs and to safeguard the industry for the future. We must ensure that we do not kill the goose that lays the golden egg. There is little point in taking in a few million dollars in tax if thousands of jobs are lost as a result."