Philemon Muchana, the Chamber of Mines Joint Supplies and Purchasing Committee chairman, said trade protectionist policies were necessary to safeguard local manufacturers and suppliers of mining equipment thereby creating employment and growing the sector.
“It is saddening that there are no policies to safeguard local suppliers and manufacturers of mining equipment. Instead of giving foreign companies employment and business, let us protect our own industries by promoting them,” he said, insisting that local quality could match that of imported equipment.
According to 2012 mineral output projections compiled by the Chamber, the industry is expected to play an important role in economic revival as official statistics show that it has accounted for at least $900 million in export revenues in the first four months compared to $660 million for the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the chamber president, Winston Chitando, said the sector stood ready to push economic growth but was weighed down by lack of capital and investment because of harsh taxes.
“A myriad of taxes such as capital gains, licence and registration fees, corporate tax, local authorities’ tax as well as environmental management fees burden the sector,” he said.
Calls for the scrapping of harsh mining taxes come at a time when government is turning to the sector to boost its coffers through raising taxes. Finance Minister, Tendai Biti has proposed that an evaluation of the inventory of the country’s minerals resources be undertaken to assess mining sector players’ contribution to the fiscus. He said the sector must contribute funding for critical “development and service delivery”.Post published in: News