Business

Timber producers want mukula export tax eased

MEMORY MANINGA, Lusaka
THE Timber Producers Association of Zambia (TPAZ) says Government should relax exportation tariffs of the mukula tree to make it easier for local traders to operate.
In an interview last week, TPAZ board member Francis Malala said the current K10 per kilogramme tariff that has been imposed on the exportation of the mukula tree by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is unaffordable for local traders to continue trading in the industry.
The current exportation rate stands at K10 per kg across all timber products. “This has resulted in many trucks loaded with various timbers to be marooned at various border points because the trading costs increased.
“There is need to reconsider this move by coming up with mechanisms that will create an atmosphere for local traders to afford to trade in this industry,” Mr Malala said.
He also said following the controversies surrounding the trading of the mukula tree, there is need for Government to ensure that the forestry department is given the mandate to take its position in the administration of timber trade in the country.
He, however, said measures aimed at curbing illegality in the sector should be developed to enable Government to acquire more revenue from the sector.
“There are a lot of illegalities that have been occurring on the ground but it is only fair that those with the right documentation are allowed to trade freely… Measures should be developed to curb these illegalities so that Government can collect more revenue from the sector,” he said.
Mr Malala urged Zambians not to engage in the illegal trade of the mukula tree, saying the product is a natural resource that is capable of boosting economic growth.
“We must be patriotic as Zambians to ensure that we follow right procedures in the way we do this kind of business,” he said.

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