New tax regime will not secure gemstones

THE Zambia Gemstone Integrated Trade Association (ZGITA) fears that the new tax regime has potential of fuelling smuggling of gemstones by small-scale miners as they have no capacity to pay the taxes.
Government has in the 2019 national budget proposed to introduce an export duty on precious metals, including gold, precious stones and gemstones, at the rate of 15 percent and intends to make mineral royalty tax non-deductible for income tax purposes.
ZGITA president Joseph Mwansa said unlike large-scale miners, the small-scale miners have no capacity to pay high taxes due to low capital and the move could encourage smuggling.
The association comprises gemstone producers and dealers. The stones include emeralds, tourmaline, aquamarine, amethyst and citrine.
“High taxes will kill small-scale miners and this could encourage smuggling of stones, which as an association we discourage,” Mr Mwansa said in an interview

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