By CHILA NAMAIKO –
GOVERNMENT has urged the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to be effective in revenue collection to help finance national infrastructure development.
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said revenue collection was an essential component because no Government in the world had resources other than what its people contribute.
Mr Chikwanda said in Choma yesterday during the official opening of ZRA provincial offices that the expansion of the institution should result in widening of the tax net for Government revenue.
“Whenever you hear of Government programmes being articulated, we, in Government always do so in the firm belief that we will have the resources to deliver. In other words, we have you, ZRA in mind,” he said.
Mr Chikwanda called on ZRA to play a vital role in revenue collection, saying about 63 per cent of the money contained in the national Budget was financed by the Authority, hence need for it to be proactive.
“This is why I am personally here to signify that we recognise your role and the effort you make in collecting revenue for the Government,” he said.
He said the revenue collected by ZRA was significant for improving the livelihood of the people of Zambia.
Mr Chikwanda also said taxpayers should comply with the institutions’ tax obligations.
He urged ZRA and other public service officers to exhibit high levels of integrity and refrain from engaging in corrupt practices.
ZRA Commissioner-General Berlin Msiska said the provincial office had collected revenue amounting to K1, 089,312.66 from October 2013 when it started operating to December 2013.
Mr Msiska said ZRA’s successful implementation of its tax-online, which was a robust web-based tax administration platform, would enable clients to deal with the institution on a 24-hour basis.
Southern Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe urged parastatal institutions to help the Government in improving the national economy and creating job opportunities for the locals.