Finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has told Parliament that the Sales Tax which was to come into effect on July 1 may not be implemented because certain processes have not been completed.
“It is being reported that the PF regime has again deferred the implementation of the General Sales Tax (GST) from Value Added Tax (VAT) because the systems are not ready. We genuinely love our country when we offer alternative solutions to our colleagues on managing the affairs of this great nation. It is not necessarily because we are power hungry, bitter or because we are less patriotic as they normally accuse us. Our observations are made out of genuine love for the ordinary citizens and the nation,” Hichilema, the UPND president, has stated.
“In the case at hand, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that some things just need some bit of common sense and some consultation from all those willing to avail themselves to be at service in the field of economic and financial management. The PF must learn to listen even from their own technocrats within Government that are now frustrated because of politicians’ insatiable appetite for wrong decisions that only suit politics.”
He wondered how the entire government could present a huge economic proposal to the country in the budget and “later embark on a countrywide consultative process like they are currently doing and then make a sudden twist”.
“Is it not simple logic that you first consult then consider implementing based on the outcomes of the consultative processes? In medical profession, the PF regime is that medical practitioner who prescribes any drug available on the shelves to the patient before carrying out a thorough diagnosis. The result is what is currently happening to our ailing economy because it is forever being given wrong prescription resulting in a wrong prognosis,” Hichilema stated.
“So how can citizens and the entire business community now take short and long term plans under such flip flop (Chipantepante) arrangement? How do our colleagues in the PF regime now balance the budget because some of the revenue collection in the 2019 budget are projections from collections of sales taxi? Like they say, ‘If It’s Not Broken, Do Not Mend it’.
Our advice once more, can you stick to VAT, just broaden the tax base and reduce the VAT rate…”