By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
GOVERNMENT should develop a mechanism to ensure that all export earnings from the mining sector are accounted for in the local banks, says the Private Sector Development Association (PSDA).
PSDA chairperson, Yusuf Dodia, said a law should be passed to compel mining houses to account for export earnings in the local banks.
Mr Dodia said out of the US$6 billion revenue generated annually from the mining sector, only US$1 billion was invested in the economy.
He was speaking in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
“We should also follow other best practices such as receipts of export earnings being accounted for in the Zambian banking system. We have seen some economies such as South Africa they insist that all export earnings should be accounted for in the South African banking system and that as created capital to develop and grow the economy.
“This is not happening in Zambia, out of the US$6 billion of exports we are lucky if we are seeing US$1 billion back into the economy,” he said. Mr Dodia said it was time for the mining industry to contribute significantly to national development.
The current tax regime for the industry, he said, was not heavy for mining companies to start lamenting. “The mining companies are paying very little taxes from their amount of profit they are making. On an annual basis they are generating revenues of about US$6 billion and when you compare that to the taxes they are paying, the tax is very insignificant. “Government should be bold enough to tell some of these mining companies that if they are not interested investing in Zambia then they should leave and give an opportunity for others to come in,” he said.