ZAMBIA has embarked on a process to immediately ensure that all mining companies publish their production volumes online so that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) can collect proper taxes.
The measure has been taken as part of the recommendations under the validation report done under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
Following the report by the global EITI board in October this year which said that Zambia had made meaningful progress in implementing the EITI standards, measures had to be taken within 18 months for Zambia to enhance the impact of the initiative.
Mines Minister Chris Yaluma said Zambia would ensure that all production activities of mining companies were disclosed to the public and made readily available.
Mr Yaluma said transparency in data would allow ZRA to collect proper taxes which, in turn, would benefit Zambians.
He said currently, there was conflicting data on the production of mining companies because major stakeholders like the Bank of Zambia and the ministries of Mines and Finance had different sources of data.
“Government has to protect the interest of Zambians and so the disclosure of data will assist ZRA collect the appropriate royalties… definitely the tax collected will increase,” Mr Yaluma said.
He said the directive was compulsory and it was expected that all companies complied although, ultimately, there was need for legislation to ensure total compliance.
Collecting proper data from mining companies has been difficult because the sector is complex.
Mr Yaluma said the other recommendations were that Government should ensure disclosure of which mining, oil and gas licences were awarded and transferred during the year and that Government should also
ensure that contracts in the petroleum sector were disclosed.
The other recommendation was that the Zambian chapter of the EITI should consider a more systematic follow-up for the recommendations, for instance for developing a dedicated plan for following up on findings and recommendations from Zambia EITI reports.
Mr Yaluma said the Government was committed to the implementation of the EITI standard whose main objective was to promote transparency and accountability in the management of mineral resource wealth.
And the EITI Zambia head, Siforiano Banda said implementing the recommendations in the validation report would enhance transparency and benefit Zambians more financially.
By Rebecca Mushota, Times of Zambia