Enforce grain levy, councils urged

GOVERNMNET has directed municipalities countrywide to continue collecting grain levies to increase their revenues.
The grain charges are pegged at K0.90 per 50-kilogramme (kg) bag and K0.45 for a 25-kilogramme bag.
A communique dated August 15, 2015, issued by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, which is addressed to all municipalities indicates that grain levy is still in force.
“The local government regulations, under statutory instrument number 37 of 2008 which, standardised the collection of grain levy is in force and councils are obliged to collect the levies,” the communique signed by Minister of Local Government and Housing John Phiri notes.
To this effect, municipalities have been directed to immediately start sensitisation meetings with farmers, traders and other stakeholders so that affected people can understand the latest development.
Dr Phiri indicates that the lifting of the ban is in accordance with the pronouncements made by President Lungu at the 59th annual conference of the Local Government Association of Zambia that there was no SI that banned the collection of crop levy.
Meanwhile, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in Mungwi district has so far bought over half of the targeted 225,000 maize from the district.
According to the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU), the FRA has bought a total of 123,000 of maize and only remains with a balance of 102,000 bags.
“However, a lot of maize is still making its way to the depots and farmers are worried that some farmers might be left out in the FRA maize marketing exercise if the target is not changed,” the ZNFU bulletin states.

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