ZRA tracks minerals in and out of Zambia

THE implementation of the mineral value chain and monitoring project to review mechanisms for monitoring and facilitating the movement of minerals within and out of Zambia is progressing well, says Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General Mr. Berlin Msiska.

Mr Msiska said the project would enable ZRA to capture all the mining players and also help to know how many quantities of minerals that had been allocated by the relevant authorities for export.

He said the monitoring of the mining sector through the ZRA’s mineral value chain and monitoring project had been achieved and that the development of the electronic based computer framework for monitoring of the mining industry was a key milestone.

Mr Msiska said despite the ranking , Zambia’s take from the sector falls short of expectations and the state of affairs had resulted in a low rate of revenue collection from the mining sector because the reporting framework of the mineral production figures was currently manual.

He said the development of the pilot project system was done so that it provided accurate and reliable information that was critical to informed decision making by the regulatory authorities mandated to monitor operations of the mining industry.

And the World Bank has given Zambia US$30 million in a multi-donor trust fund to support Government efforts to upgrade public financial management in Zambia.

World Bank senior financial management specialist and governance team leader in Zambia Srinivas Gurazada said finance was the fuel for the engine of administration to function in any country.

Mr Gurazada said out of the funding, over US$10 million had been allocated to Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to increase the effectiveness of revenue administration.

He said the mandate of ZRA was not only to ensure accurate collection of taxes, but also do it through informed, transparent and non-discriminatory platform.

He said the World Bank wanted the ZRA to focus on implementing a multi-purpose and multi-stakeholder scheme for monitoring the country’s mineral value chain from exploration to export.

He said Zambia’s economy was still dependent on copper, saying with the global slowdown and fall in international commodity prices; the country faced significant negative impact on growth.