MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON ZAMBIA'S DEBT POSITION & REVENUE PERFORMANCE

Mr. SPEAKER, I make reference to the point of order raised by the Honourable Member of Parliament for Kantanshi, with regard to the debt position and revenue performance.

DEBT POSITION

SIR, Zambia’s debt position as at end May 2017 amounted to US$7.2 billion as indicated in my written statement which I laid on the table of this august House on 21st June, 2017.

The US$7.2 billion was unfortunately misread as US$17.2 billion, a mis-statement that is deeply regretted.

REVENUE PERFORMANCE

Mr. SPEAKER, revenues as passed by Parliament through the Appropriations Act, comprises the following elements:

1) Tax revenues that include Customs Duties, Value Added Tax, and taxes on income such as profit tax, Pay As You Earn, and Withholding Taxes on various incomes;

2) Non-tax revenues mainly those collected by Statutory bodies such as RTSA, ERB, ZICTA, ZEMA as well as other Government Institutions such as the Zambia Police. These revenues also include various fees and fines under different Ministries such as the Ministry of Lands, Home Affairs and Mines;, and,

3) Grants provided by Cooperating Partners.

For the first five months to May 2017, revenues collected including domestic taxes amounted to K16.67 billion against a budget amount of K18.46 billion representing a 10 percent underperformance on aggregate.

SIR, going beyond the past, 5 months, we are taking measures to bridge the 10 percent gap so as to reach the budgeted amount as a minimum. These measures include the following:

1) Stakeholder engagement to increase tax compliance;

2) Granting a tax amnesty to unlock tax arrears;

3) Accelerating installation of fiscal devices to improve VAT collections;

4) Development of a single window platform at boarders to increase turnaround times;

5) Full implementation of the Mineral value chain project to increase tax revenues from the mining sector;

6) Rolling out more Road tolls to support road infrastructure development;

7) Procurement and installation of monitoring systems for the Communication sector; and,

8) Implementation of IT solutions to enhance non-tax revenue collections.

Mr. SPEAKER, we remain confident that this gap will be bridged by the end of the financial year.

Mr. SPEAKER, I thank you.

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Felix Mutati, MP
Minister of Finance

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