TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
ZAMBIA Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) has called on the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to quicken payments for value added tax (VAT) refunds to avoid upsetting the working capital for companies.
ZAM chief executive officer Chipengo Zulu said the improvement in the administration of VAT refund could also boost the levels of collection.
Responding to a query last week, Ms Zulu said Government should consider coming up with a deliberate move to improve VAT refund for local firms.
“We noted improvements in VAT collection and commend the government for their efforts in this regard.
“However, as VAT is being collected at source, there is an equal need for ZRA to improve refunds to VAT to companies so as not to hamper their working capital,” she said.
Ms Zulu has also commended Government for the positive indicators being achieved in the economy citing the stability of the Kwacha, slight drop in the interest rates and attainment of single-digit inflation.
Macroeconomic fundamentals are pointing in the right direction as the Kwacha has been hovering around K9.00 since the opening of the year while inflation and interest rate are at 6.6 percent and about 25 percent respectively.
She said the positive economic fundamentals make the market more predictable and also facilitate the process of creating a more conducive business environment, which is a necessary ingredient for economic growth.
Ms Zulu, however, said the association is hopeful that Government will continue to work hard to ensure to spend within its means and to avoid borrowing from the local market.
This is to prevent crowding out the private sector.
Ms Zulu also called on Government to take a practical approach towards value addition to help in growing non-traditional exports (NTEs).
“In this regards, to promotion of value addition, there is need to reinforce measures to facilitate growth in NTEs and locally-manufactured products even in view of the rising copper prices,” she said.