Lusaka ~ Sat, 26 Sept 2020
By ZR Reporter
Zambia’s leading food producer and retailer, Zambeef, has welcomed government’s 2021 Budget plans to increase import tax on all beef, pork, and chicken products to boost and support local production and bring flexibility in the trade.
Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu has proposed in the 2021 national budget to increase import duty to 40 percent from 25 percent on agro-products such as beef and processed beef products, pork and processed pork products, chicken and processed chicken products as well as fish imported from outside the Southern African Development Community and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa regions.
“Import duties are just the first step towards fully tapping into the potential of Zambia in feeding itself and the region. We have been asking for this for a long time; farming will again become profitable,” said Zambeef Chief Executive Officer Walter Roodt, who added that he was pleased with government’s move to create an enabling environment to grow and improve agricultural production.
“The 2021 budget stimulates economic activity and growth in agriculture and other sectors.”
Zambeef has also welcomed government’s proposals to introduce excise duty at the rate of K1.50 per litre on reconstituted milk, and harmonise import duty rates on reconstituted milk with other forms of milk at 15 percent.
The Introduction of excise duty on flat plastic bags at 30 percent was also acknowledged as good for the environment.
Zambeef has also supported government’s proposal to scale up agricultural productivity through mechanisation, as Minister of Finance proposed to zero-rate all tractors for Value-Added Tax purposes.
Currently, only tractors up to 90 horsepower are zero-rated.
The Minister further proposed to suspend import duty on refrigerated trucks to support the domestic and export markets.
This is aimed at building flexibility and mitigating revenue losses.