By MUKOSELA KASALWE
WITH only five days before the deadline on the reintroduction of Sales tax, stakeholders have raised fears over its viability.
The stakeholders fear that they had not been enough conscientisation on the new tax system.
There is need for extensive discussion and sensitization before the new tax system come into force, Economist Maambo Hamaundu has said
Mr Hamaundu said in an interview yesterday, the economist said much would have been done in terms of discussion and sensitization on sales tax.
Mr Hamaundu said the effectiveness as well as concerns of stakeholders would only be known once the Sales tax comes in force. He said it was at the discretion of the Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe to decide whether or not to extend discussions.
“Much would have been done in terms of sensitization and discussion on Sales tax for instance the rate and industries to be directly affected are not known,” he observed.
And the Zambia Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Sokwani Chilembo said the organsiation recently has been meeting with the Ministry of Finance to chart the way forward on sales tax.
Mr Chilembo expressed hope that the submissions submitted before the ministry would be put into consideration.
And Youth in Action for Sustainable Development (YASD), has called for more dialogue on the matter between Government and stakeholders which would ensure a win-win situation.
YASD Executive Director, Zebeddy Lukwesa said Sales tax should not result into the loss of jobs saying such a situation would be dealt with through dialogue.
Meanwhile, Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) Chairperson Yusuf Dodia urged Government to implement the Sales Tax but continue engaging stakeholders on concerns raised. Mr Dodia said although he was not in support of the reintroduction of Sales Tax because it would increase the cost of doing business and reduce competition, it was vital to the refinancing of the 2019 national budget.
Last year, Ms Mwanakatwe indicated that Sales tax would resume on April 1, this year because Zambia lacked a manufacturing base and value addition.