By HELEN ZULU –
THE Dairy Association of Zambia (DAZ) has said it would have loved to see the government zero-rate milk products for Value Added Tax (VAT)in the 2016 national budget.
DAZ chairperson Miriam Mbazima said government needed to zero-rate milk products in the 2016 national budget to bring down the cost of production.
Ms Mbazima said one major challenge members were faced with was the high cost of production, making it difficult for processors to sell products at competitive prices, hence the need for government to zero-rate milk products.
Speaking in an interview in Lusaka, Ms Mbazima said small scale dairy farmers were struggling to grow their businesses as they were being affected by the importation of milk products into the country.
“This makes it difficult for processors to sell their products at competitive prices when you compare with imported products because the raw material used is expensive.
“The 2016 Budget is okay as it recognises the needs of the poor people, however, our expectation that Government would zero-rate the milk products was not met, we are disappointed that our plea was not considered in 2016 budget,” she said.
DAZ submitted its 2016 Tax and Non Tax proposals to the Ministry of Finance via the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) for consideration in next year’s national budget.
The submissions included removal of VAT on all dairy equipment and machinery, Zero rating of milk products, introduction of export duty on maize bran, wheat bran, sunflower and cotton cake.