Remove VAT on insurance – PICZ

PROFESSIONAL Insurance Corporation Zambia (PICZ) managing director Geoffrey Chirwa has urged Government to remove value added tax on insurance so that products and services can be offered cheaply to ordinary Zambians.
Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe says it is saddening for Zambia to remain a least developed country (LDC) when the country is endowed with natural resources and people who are capable of developing the resources.
During the 51st Zambia International Trade Fair in Ndola, Mr Chirwa said only 2.9 percent of the adult population in Zambia has bought an insurance policy of one kind.
“We believe that, among other [issues], the low uptake of insurance in Zambia, which is below the African average of 3.5 percent, could be because of the high cost of procuring insurance products and services.
“Our appeal, therefore, is that VAT should either be removed completely or replaced with a simpler and lower tax such as stamp duty,” he said.
Mr Chirwa said successful business linkages involve more than simple match-making activities between enterprises.
“They depend on commitment of all partners…the government, the public and private sectors and all supporting agencies and stakeholders,” he said.
Speaking later, Ms Mwanakatwe said the Zambian business sector is not doing much to move the economy forward.
“Captains of the industry are the ones to develop this country and make the economy stronger for it to attract foreign direct investment, but you [businesses] are not doing much. Why should we have economic growth rate of seven percent when you can do better as private sector?” she said.
The minister said through various reforms, Government wants the private sector to get stronger and develop the economy for Zambia to stop being an LDC.

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