State demand crop levy recall

BOZ building.

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
LOCAL authorities have continued pressurising Government to re-introduce the crop levy to enable councils provide quality services to the public in districts.
Mkushi council chairman Thomson Kunda called on Government to consider re-introducing crop levy.
“The law on crop levy is there, except that the former Government removed the levy without any consultations from stakeholders. We should request President Sata to bring back crop levy,” Mr Kunda said this at the 58th annual conference for Local Government Association of Zambia.
Crop levy which is a tax charged by anyone transporting crop/grain from one district to another was abolished by the in 2009 as farmers oppose the fee saying it has a negative effects as it pushes the cost of production considering that subsidies have been scaled down particularly on maize.
Mr Kunda cited Mukuni farm block is one area housing rich commercial farmers who remit nothing to the local authority yet, they make huge sums of money annually.
“We have a lot of traders at our markets selling vegetables who the council charge daily, yet farmers making huge sums of money are not paying anything,” he said.
During the opening the conference on Monday, Vice president Guy Scott emphasised the importance of farmers and traders paying crop levy saying they put pressure on roads when delivering their produce to market.
At the same forum, Local Government Association of Zambia president Mulenga Sata appealed to Government to support efforts by local authorities to supplement grants with local taxes, levies and charges.
“We wish to reiterate our call for restoration of crop and other levies which were abolished for no reason and without prior consultation with local authorities,” Mr Sata said.

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