ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA Revenue Authority (ZRA) is optimistic that the mineral value chain pilot project, which started last year at a cost of over US$10 million, will enable the authority collect the right amounts of taxes especially from the mines.
The project’s primary task is to design and develop a
multi-purpose and stakeholder scheme for monitoring the flow of Zambia’s mineral resources throughout the value chain.
ZRA commissioner for modernisation and corporate strategy Dingani Banda said the project focuses on designing the minerals monitoring system and building the capacity of local government agencies.
The agencies involved in the implementation include: ZRA, Ministry of Mines, Road Development Agency, Patents and Company Registration Agency, Central Statistical Office (CSO), Road Transport and Safety Agency and Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS).
Mr Banda said in an interview that the pilot project, which started last year in April, is expected to be completed this year.
“Statistics are at the heart of ZRA because they help to compute data from the various stakeholders. If you do not know what is being produced, it is very difficult for you to compute the taxes that are due because the right statistics will help us as a country to collect the right taxes.
“The initial funding of the project was US$10.2 million with about US$6 million coming from the Norwegian government, US$2.2 million from the public financial management reform programme which is a group of donors being managed by the World Bank, while Government provided US$2 million,” he said.
And CSO director of census and statistics John Kalumbi said the statistical capacity building being provided through the project will help improve the quality of data that is being collected.
“We will only have one data source as opposed to previous days when we could have data from mines, Bank of Zambia and the Ministry of Mines, but now with all these agencies being housed in one place, it will be a one-stop shop where we get data instantly, quality of merchandise, and the process will be enhanced greatly,” Mr Kalumbi said.
Earlier, Statistics Norway project manager Vibeki Nielsen said the collaboration of various institutions will help to harmonise and bring about more data from the different decoders.