Sales tax: No retreat

Sale tax will not be reversed but consultations on how best to implement it will continue, President Edgar Lungu has said. President Lungu says dialogue on the Sales tax which will replace Value Added Tax (VAT) is aimed at creating an environment that will enable various economic players and other stakeholders meet their obligations.

The Head of State was speaking yesterday when a delegation from Hitachi Construction Machinery, led by its vice-president from Tokyo, Koji Sumioka, paid a courtesy call on him at State House. Mr Lungu commended Hitachi for making an effort to meet officials from Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders to dialogue on Sales tax. “Discussions on Sales tax, as it replaces VAT, are still ongoing, and you are part of the people who were caught in the crossfire.

But I believe measures have been put in place to ensure our obligations to you are met so that you in turn meet your obligations,” he said. The President wants the implementation of Sales tax to be done in a manner beneficial to all stakeholders. President Lungu said Government will continue putting in place measures to create the most conducive and convenient business environment that will result in a win-win situation for investors and for the Zambia.

He wants investments in Zambia to be based on dialogue between investors and government for both parties to benefit equally from any venture. “We met during my tour of Japan in December and we agreed that we will continue interacting and discussing. Your investment should be based on interactions between the Zambian people and your company. “This will help us to make the most conducive and convenient environment in which business can be done to achieve a win-win situation for both the investor and the host country,” President Lungu said. President Lungu said government will continue on the same trajectory of getting the company anchored in Zambia.

He also commended Hitachi for being Zambia’s partner in the economic growth, especially in sectors like mining, agriculture and other related activities that dependant on its services. Hitachi Construction Machinery Company Limited operates a remanufacturing plant. The [Hitachi] facility reconditions used parts and components from heavy duty earth moving machinery, mostly in the mining sector.

And Hitachi Construction Machinery Company Limited chief executive officer Sonosuke Ishii said through its branch in Zambia, the company plans to expand its business by exporting machinery to other African countries, and later extend it to the Middle East and part of Europe.

Mr Ishii said the company is operating well in Zambia because its people are diligent, hardworking and that Japanese people are also safe in the country. “Our company has been operating in Zambia since 2010 and we plan to expand our businesses further through the Zambian entity. Your continuous support for our business will be highly appreciated,” he said. Mr Ishii thanked government for creating a conducive environment for sustainable business.

The main branch, located on Kenneth Kaunda International Airport road, services the entire Southern Africa Development Community. In Zambia, it has created 166 jobs and invested over US$13 million. Hitachi Construction Machinery Company Limited also offers state of the art technology and technical skills transfer through