CTPD executive director Isaac Mwaipopo has urged government to lift the ban on the export of Mukula timber and instead raise its tax.

And Maipopo says mines should be made to declare their profits in order to allow the Zambia Revenue Authority charge appropriate taxes.

In and interview with News Diggers! Mwaipopo said raising taxes paid on exportation of timber could foster industrialisation and value addition.

“There is also another sector which I think has been identified and can contribute towards improving the revenue base and this is within the agricultural sector. We are talking about timber trade. CTPD thinks that we can manage the sector better,” Mwaipopo said.

“We do understand that there has been a huge demand of this commodity and in response to the demand, government had decided to impose an export ban on the exportation of trees like the Mukula tree. So instead of banning the exportation, we think that the government can pursue other options such as raising the taxes that are paid for exporting the commodity and emphasising on putting accompanying measures that would help to facilitate and foster industrialisation and value addition of the commodity from the Mukula tree.”

And Mwaipopo said Parliament should prioritise finalising essential bills like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to enhance the country’s ability to manage its natural resources.

He believed that having the EITI process legislated could contribute greatly towards enhancing transparency and accountability in the management of natural resources, especially in the extractive sector.

“We would like Parliament to consider prioritising the finalisation of the planning and budgeting Act as well as the revised Public Finance Act. This will strengthen our ability to manage the resources that we have in an efficient manner. With regards to the extractive sector, one of our key expectations is that we hope to see the EITI bill presented before Parliament. We strongly believe that having the EITI process legislated can contribute hugely towards enhancing transparency and accountability in the management of natural resources; especially within the extractive sector where we have noted that in the recent past that we have improved performance of the copper process on the international market. One of the conversations that have come up is how we are able to benefit from such a sector,” said Mwaipopo.

“In order to fully understand how much the sector is making in terms of profit, there would be need to have legislation that compels the mining investment to declare the profits that they make and this information will actually help institutions like the Zambia Revenue Authority to make well informed decisions when they are coming up with decisions around how the tax structure.”