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Wednesday, 07 March 2012

UK urged to keep up support for Zambia

According to The Guardian, the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD), a Zambian NGO,  is pushing the UK to maintain its support for Zambia's tax authority so as to ensure that more revenue is brought in from mining companies and other multinationals.The new Zambian government has moved to increase the country's tax base, according to the CTPD. Compared with the total amount of revenue that could be raised, however, this seems anything but sufficient.
The executive director of the CTPD , Savior Mwambwa, alerted the UK parliamentary international development committee to the issue, as the committee deals with taxation in developing countries.
Mwambwa underlined that secrecy laws put countries such as Zambia at a disadvantage in their dealings with international companies. "When Glencore receives tax breaks or subsidies, this is done in secret […] If there was greater transparency, developing countries would have greater bargaining power versus multinationals", he said.
The CTPD pushed the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) to maintain its support, Zambia's equivalent of HM Revenue and Customs in the UK.
Mining is the key export industry for Zambia, in view of its large mineral reserves. Though the African state has been officially classified as middle-income country, two-thirds of its population live below the national poverty line.
Source: The Guardian