Only commercial boreholes should be taxed – PAC

Peoples Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says he does not understand how the Water Resource Management Authority is introducing a charge on drilling boreholes even to domestic users.

Speaking when he featured on a Hot FM program, Banda said the Water Resource Management Authority should only tax commercial users.

“People right now across Lusaka don’t have water. There are lot of water shortages across the country. I really don’t understand what the problem is. We have a lot of rivers, but we can’t see this water in our taps. Recently, the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) introduces a tax in boreholes. If we have not sorted out our issues with water. This is where the taxes need to be zeroed so that people can find means and other ways, they need to encourage people to invest in this sector instead of introducing more taxes,” he said.

“We are not stopping WARMA from introducing more taxes but taxes are supposed to be introduced where there is an income. So if I am going to drill a borehole and I want to make an income out of it, then I need to pay tax for that. But, if I am going to drill a borehole to use at home for my garden that should encourage zero-rating taxes on such things.”

And Banda said ZNBC was facing financial problems because it was not operating professionally.

“Of course ZNBC already has a lot of financial problems and the Director General himself has accepted. One of the reasons we need to accept is that ZNBC is going through these problems because of being bias. We need to realize that times have changed. There isn’t just ZNBC like in the 1980’s or early 1990’s. There are a lot of TV station today. So there’s a lot of competition coming up. ZNBC needs to align themselves with how other competitors are working,” Banda said.

“Being a vuvuzela for the PF won’t help them. Even the people at ZNBC themselves, they want to interview Andyford Banda freely without going through this rigorous process of saying ‘should we put this on news? Can I interview Andyford Banda?’ They want to do their work diligently like SABC does, the way BBC does it. All these are all owned by the government. But they are objective. So, we need to get ZNBC to that level. ZNBC has all the necessary machinery, equipment and infrastructure that can make it thrive and be more competitive. It is a really a sad story that ZNBC is where it is today because of lack of proper management and political influence from the government.”

Meanwhile, Banda observed that government did not consult enough on the National Health Insurance bill.

“When talking about the National Health Insurance bill, you find that anything that the government does, it does not consult but insists on implementing with a lot of lacuna’s. There are a lot of missing gaps in the national health insurance bill. As PAC we want to ensure that there is universal health coverage for all people in this country. What people think about this bill is that it is just another tax being introduced to the people. A lot of taxes are being introduced left right and center. This government is not being considerate because, they are not creating jobs. They are not creating business opportunities. Instead, they are introducing taxes. So where do they hope to get that money from,” asked Banda.

         

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