ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
ABOUT K1.3 million has been realised through the Airtel Money platform for payment of various domestic taxes to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in the last four months.
To this effect, ZRA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airtel Networks Zambia Plc to enable the authority improve service delivery and operational efficiency to optimise revenue collection.
ZRA commissioner-general Kingsley Chanda is hopeful that through this partnership, the cost of tax compliance will be maximised while taxpayers will not be inconvenienced in their quest to pay taxes on time.
During the signing ceremony of the MoU on Friday, Mr Chanda said the Airtel money platform will enable sole traders and small businesses to make electronic payments without any difficulties.
“I am reliably informed that at the time the Airtel Money platform for payment was introduced, the number of clients using the platform has increased from only six in March 2017 to 622 as of June 22, 2017 with a value of K1.3 million already made in payments.
“This uptake already demonstrates the willingness by our taxpayers to move from more complicated processes to convenient, user-friendly and cost-effective methods of doing business,” he said.
Earlier, Airtel Networks Zambia Plc managing director Peter Correia said partnership will enable taxpayers to pay domestic taxes using Airtel Money with the help of Citibank.
Mr Correia said Government’s provision of services such as health care, pension funds, roads, among other public goods and facilities, will be eased through exploiting various channels to collect the much-needed taxes.
“This new service that has been introduced will help people pay their due taxes using Airtel Money in the comfort of their homes or offices when they get too busy to visit the offices of the ZRA,” he said.
And Bank of Zambia director for banking, currency and payment system Lazarous Kamanga said the central bank will continue to promote financial inclusion as well as efficiency in the payment system .
“With this platform, revenue collection will be enhanced as more people nowadays, have adapted to technology to make their payments for taxes and I believe that with the wide network that Airtel has in the country, it will be easier to collect taxes even from people in the rural areas,” Mr Kamanga said.