NOEL IYOMBWA writes
ZAMBIA Revenue Authority (ZRA) should consider 50 per cent off on corporate tax for Banks and SME, because the two are key ingredients in national economic equation, a Communication expert Kelvin Chisanga has said.
In an interview, Mr Chisanga said that following the presidential speech where he stated a number of concerns amidst Covid-19 fight, one catchy item on his list of national address was the need to embrace the “New normal” which he said in own opinion and view, it implies that the country can anchor a balance on health as well as the economy if politics are put aside.
He said that in reference to the earlier K10 billion package which was provided for the SME sector to commercial banks for administration on the consumer-led services, the economic impact assessment should be used as a model to remove the burden of imposing unrealistic interest rates on the disbursement of this stimulus package.
“Zambian government should drive a strong and unwavering political will, to remodel the economic architecture of this country, the proposed Zambia’s economic recovery package through incentives by ZRA and other statutory bodies may help to spur economic growth considering that ZRA has even released the practice note number one of 2020.
“But there are few areas where question marks are being raised especially where the authority has put Copper Cathodes on zero rating basement.
“Good to see that there are equally few others that are pretty interesting to look at, like the case of medical items that have equally been placed under zero-rates as we fight Corona Virus, and this window has been pushed on incentives list up until 30 September, 2020,” he said.
He explained that it is sadden to note that other related family items such as bathing soap and a few number of household cleaning chemicals which also can help in the fight against COVID 19 are still subjected to standard rating.
Mr Chisanga noted that the revenue collector should consider employing favorable tax treatment to curb shocks of Covid-19.
He also said that opening up of social amenities like casinos, gyms and cinemas has not sound so economic as the tax returns on these subsector of sports do not attract than 20 per cent of gross takings and very little contribution in terms of economic value is made up all on the GDP.
“Going forward, Zambia should implement a strategy on how the K10 billion package should be disbanded to feed into specific economic sectors especially those identified with high appetite for accelerated growth, this highly spoken economic recovery fund meant to buffer on the SME national profile should be categorized to cater for those SME in farming circles, with a sizeable portion to other areas of the sector of the economy such as tourism and small scale mining holders especially those in the precious stones,”Mr Chisanga said.
He elaborated that the nation can look at the following portion where it consider beefing up of either FISP or E-Voucher depending on the location of engagement as it envisage in promoting winter farming, with this set-up of an agriculture, which can support fund, SME support fund, Tourism support fund.
He added that the proposed ‘fund’ above can strongly be used or should be aimed at reinvigorating the economy and providing relief on the social effects caused by Coronavirus in the nation.