By SARAH MWANZA –
FINANCE Minister Felix Mutati says Government is targeting to raise K20 million per year from the 12 toll gates countrywide.
He said the Government’s objective is to complete the construction of 12 Toll Plazas in the Country by February this year.
Mr Mutati said this when he checked on works on a toll plaza in Shimabala along the Lusaka – Kafue road.
“Our minimum estimate with the 12 operating countrywide starting next month, should be K20 million, which shall be used to maintain roads and other programs,” he said.
He said 2017 in-terms of the budget, it is going to be very tough, hence the need to look particularly to non-taxable revenues and Toll Gates was one of the biggest non-tax revenue that Government was looking at.
“Our desire is that using the fund that we are currently receiving from Toll Gates, by the end of this year we intend to construct four more toll gates countrywide,” he said.
He has since urged National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) to push contractors to finish up the works on Toll Plazas to help in revenue generation as soon as possible.
The minister also urged NRFA to be giving Road Development Agency (RDA) enough resources to hire proper contractors.
Mr Mutati said the Government does not want to see road maintenance works done using simple tools.
He explained that the Government will not compromise with road maintenance works because people should now start seeing the benefits of toll fees.
Mr Mutati has also urged NRFA to come up with a special way of treating the Truckers Association and the Bus Operators.
He said the Government does not want to unnecessarily increase the cost of doing business but encourage transporters to like the idea of toll fees.
And Kafue United Party for National Development (UPND) Member of Parliament Mirriam Chinyama has thanked Government for taking development to Kafue.
She said it was not correct that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has banned the members of Parliament from joining Ministers on developmental tours.