November 29, 2011

No windfall tax, Chikwanda restates

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has reiterated that it would be unwise for the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to reintroduce the windfall tax when metal prices on the international market are unstable and visibly trending downwards. And Parliament approved the K48 billion allocated in this year’s Budget to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) with Kalomo Member of Parliament (MP) Request Muntanga (UPND) urging the House to increase the K2 billion reserved for by-elections.

Concluding the policy debate on the estimates of expenditure for 2012 in Parliament, Mr Chikwanda expressed disappointment that former MMD ministers that abolished the windfall tax were now championing its re-introduction. He told the House that the PF Government was very responsible, dignified and had the full mandate of the people of Zambia and as such would not play to the gallery and act impulsively just because someone was advocating the re- introduction of windfall tax. The minister said it was extremely important to understand that the measures he had announced in the 2012 Budget address would ensure that the Government got some revenues while the “cow that produces the milk” was left to survive. “It would, therefore, be unwise for the Government to introduce windfall tax when metal prices are unstable and are now visibly trending downwards. “It is for this reason that I am disappointed by our colleagues who were in Government yesterday and abolished the windfall tax; but are now calling for its re-introduction. Are they really being genuine, constructive and patriotic?,” he wondered. He said the former MMD leaders were not being objective in their debates on windfall tax and were being unpatriotic because their debates were not bordering on stability of investment, ensuring workers security of tenure and facilitating sustainable mobilisation of resources. (Times of Zambia)

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