GRZ is pressing ahead with the proposal in the 2013 Budget to make it mandatory for ministries, provinces, spending agencies and revenue collecting statutory bodies to deposit all collections in form of fees and fines directly to the treasury from January 2013. All institutions would deposit money through revenue transit accounts at commercial banks. Commercial banks have already signed service legal agreements that would compel them to remit funds to the Bank of Zambia within 24 hours.
An interesting development alongside this is that GRZ is already rolling out a pilot that will allow people to pay fees for passports and other citizenship fees through Indo-Zambia Bank. This is intended minimise human contact with cash especially in areas where banking services are available. The pilot is would focus on Lusaka, Livingstone, Chipata, Kabwe and Ndola with view other provincial centres to follow.
Both initiatives are certainly long overdue. Particularly the Indo-Zambia pilot. The only problem there is how this is rolled out across critical areas like police fines, etc. It is there where corruption is rife. And then difficult questions follow : how was Indo-Zambia was selected? Was this through competitive bidding? Related to that, how much is Indo-Zambia making from the process? Is the public now going to pay more for these processes? Who pays? These questions are important especially if the idea is rolled out more widely.