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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Corporate Social Irresponsibility

Our arguments on the folly of the "corporate responsibility" excuse for not paying sufficient tax is finally finding support in unexpected quarters:

The Post recently run an excellent editorial directly echoing what we have been saying :
"We are not interested in mining companies running our townships. We want them to pay reasonable taxes so that together with our government, we can decide how to best use that money to develop our country and improve the living conditions of our people. We can’t be begging for money that is ours. We are not interested in donations from mining companies; what we are interested in is fair and reasonable taxes and just wages for our people and respect for the environment. If these companies were paying reasonable taxes, they would not be interested in any way to take up responsibilities they had from the very inception refused"
Norway's development agency NORAD has also been picking up on this, with direct advice for the Zambian government :
“What Government [needs] is for these companies mining important minerals to pay tax so it can be used for national development, Corporate Social Responsibility should not be building a clinic or school but paying taxes accordingly".
The problem is that Ministers are struggling to understand this very simple argument. But it's great to see some of our more 'difficult to understand' arguments (to some) finding public traction. 

1 comment:

  1. Extractive industries all around the world have not been voluntarily good corporate responsible entities. The focus in most natural resource-rich countries is to generate sufficient revenue, in order that government handles the basic needs.
    Philippines is now considering introducing what we are calling Variable Profit Tax, in order they generate more revenue from the mines in that country. This is feasible it the tax and monitoring system is stringent. Not the way it is in Zambia, where the taxman is not so conversant with the operations of the mines. Here and there, the extractive industries are welcome to make "donations".

    It is sad that citizens are now being insulted by Ministers because they are calling for equitable mining tax regime. It was three decades ago when we used to be called 'stupid idiots'. Its a reflection of how back our Finance Minister has remained


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