Business

ZRA to support sugar exports

Harvesting sugar cane

KELLY NJOMBO, Mazabuka
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has assured Zambia Sugar Plc that it will support the company’s efforts to increase exports of sugar provided it has all the necessary documentation.
ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda said the authority is aware of the challenges Zambia Sugar Plc is currently facing, which among them, is increased smuggling of sugar into the country, which is affecting the company’s performance.
Speaking when he toured the new US$80 million sugar refinery plant on Friday, Mr Chanda said ZRA will ensure it curbs the smuggling of not only sugar, but also other products into the country, as this is affecting revenue collection.
“It is unfortunate that we have porous borders, but we will ensure that we stop the smuggling of sugar, or any other products into the country. And as for Zambia Sugar, ZRA will support your efforts and export of sugar through the borders, but we will also ensure that we stop the smuggling of the commodity as the country is losing revenue,” he said.
And Zambia Sugar managing director Rebecca Katowa said Zambia currently has about 15 to 20, 000 metric tonnes of smuggled sugar into the country.
Ms Katowa said it is unfortunate that despite Zambia Sugar having the capacity to produce sufficient sugar for both local and international markets, the smuggling of the commodity into the country has continued.
Ms Katowa said the company is expected to increase production of sugar, and that this will increase its contribution to economic development and poverty reduction.
She said the sugar industry is very important to the country as it plays a critical role in supplementing Government’s efforts of creating jobs for the local people.
“As Zambia Sugar Plc, we have the support from Government, and I must say that the sugar industry does not only produce sugar, but also contributes to economic development. We will continue to produce our products, to both local and international markets, by further increasing our production capacity,” she said.

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