Govt to suspend customs, excise duty on imported construction materials

By Paul Shalala

Cabinet has approved the issuance of a Statutory Instrument to suspend customs and excise duty on the importation of construction materials.

This is in an effort to attract more investments under the Public Private Partnership –PPP- projects and reduce government expenditure on roads.

Cabinet has made the decision in line with tax incentives provided in the 2023 National Budget which are aimed at promoting PPP infrastructure projects.

This decision means that there will be a reduction in income tax; value added tax and customs duty on plant, machinery and equipment for construction.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has also approved the dissolution of the Bangweulu and Mweru Water Transport Boards and transferred the Mweru and Bangweulu Harbours to the respective local authorities.

At its latest sitting on 29th May, 2023, Cabinet further resolved o transfer all boats owned by the two entities to ZAMPOST.

Cabinet made the decision in an effort to enhance service delivery in water transport and reduce revenue loss due to inefficiencies.

At the same sitting, Cabinet also approved the National Policy on Development and Cooperation which will provide guidance on the mobilisation, management and utilisation of domestic resources.

The policy will also assist in developing priorities; strengthen systems and capacity for enabling growth of trade and investments.

Acting Information and Media Minister MAKOZO CHIKOTE says Cabinet also approved the decision by Zambia to sign the Inter-Government Memorandum of Agreement for the establishment of the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre to be based in Nacala, Mozambique.

Mr. CHIKOTE, who is also Livestock and Fisheries Minister, says Zambia is obliged to sign to show support to SADC as a member state.

He has further disclosed that Cabinet also approved the ratification of the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor Agreement which seeks to enhance regional trade.

The Minister says the Democratic Republic of Congo –DRC- ratified the agreement in 2015 followed by Namibia in 2021 and it will be enforced once all member countries ratify it.

And on legislative matters, Mr. CHIKOTE says Cabinet approved the Amendment of the Cotton Act of 2005, Repealing of the Agriculture Fertilizer and Feed Act of 1966 and the Amendment of the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund Bill of 2023 to allow employees of local authorities to compute benefits of any member who retires at 60 and 65 years.

This is according to a statement issued by Mr. CHIKOTE in Lusaka today.

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