TAX evaders have been warned of stringent measures as Government commits to reducing the fiscal deficit and increasing the tax base.
Speaking at a banking and financing conference in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Mutati noted that revenue collection has not been given prominence in Zambia, compared to other peer countries.
Mr Mutati bemoaned the lack of effort to increase the tax base and that this had left the tax burden on a few compliant citizens.
He emphasised the need to correct the situation, adding that it was the only way Government could provide the much needed services and over time reduce the tax rates.
He pointed out that economic players especially in the wholesale and retail sector were increasingly taking pride in not receipting goods and services which he said was leading to huge revenue leakages.
Mr Mutati said that Government would increase the use of its solutions in revenue collection including non-tax, where he said there were huge losses.
“Individuals and companies should honour their tax obligation to enable Government ensure macroeconomic continued stability. Revenue collection has not been given prominence in Zambia and rates are high compared to other peer countries. Wholesale and retail sector are increasingly taking pride in not receipting goods and services which is leading to huge revenue leakages. We are also going to restrict government borrowing,” he said.
Mr Mutati assured that Government was up to the challenge and determined to move beyond procrastination by embarking on a rigorous and ambitious reform programme of the different sectors of the economy.
He explained that Government would reduce fiscal deficit, which he said would overtime result in reduced government borrowing, increase economic growth and lower interest rates.
Mr Mutati also noted that there was no ordinary business that could survive at the current lending rates in the country.
And Mr Mutati disclosed that he would put in place measures to reduce subsidies and that they were benefitting rich people at the expense of the marginalised.
He pointed out that the socio-economic programmes for the poor such as health and education had been sidelined to facilitate subsidies.
Mr Mutati, however, promised to reform subsidies that enhance economic activities, and ensure effectiveness and efficiency in the agriculture sector.
“Government is up to the challenge and determined to move beyond procrastination by embarking on a rigorous and ambitious reform programme of the different sectors of the economy. We will reduce the fiscal deficit, which overtime will result in reduced government borrowing, increase economic growth and lower interest rates,” he said.