Mwanakatwe Lungu

File Photo: President Edgar Lungu

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the decision by government to implement Sales Tax is final and will not be reversed.

Speaking when he met a delegation of workers from Hitachi Construction Machinery, the Head of State said that dialogue on the implementation of Sales Tax will continue.

Lungu said Sales Tax, which will replace Valued Added Tax (VAT) is aimed at creating an environment which will enable various economic players meet their obligations.

”Discussions on Sales Tax, as it replaces VAT, are still ongoing, and you are part of the people who were caught in the crossfire. But I believe measures have been put in place to ensure our obligations to you are met so that you in turn meet your obligations,” he said.

Government through Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe announced that come July 1, 2019, Sales Tax will be introduced to replace VAT to avoid the accumulation of refunds which have been difficult to pay in the past years.

However, this move has received mixed reactions from various stakeholders with some proposing that government should defer its implementation while some argue that implementation of the Sales Tax Bill will provide a win-win situation between government and investors especially during tis period of economic malaise.

The President said government will continue putting in place measures that will create a conducive business environment that will ensure a win-win situation for investors and the local people.

Lungu said he wants investment in Zambia to be based on dialogue so that investors and government can reap equal benefits.

Meanwhile, President Lungu praised Hitachi for being the country’s partner in fostering economic growth, especially in sectors such as mining, agriculture and other related activities that relies on its service.

“We met during my tour of Japan in December and we agreed that we will continue interacting and discussing. Your investments should be based on interactions between the Zambian people and your community,” he said.

And Hitachi Construction Machinery Company Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sonosuke Ishii said his company plans to expand its business by exporting machinery to other African countries, and later extend it to Middle East and parts of Europe.

He said the company is operating well in Zambia because the people are hardworking, diligent dding that it is a safe haven for Japanese people.

“Our company has been operating in Zambia since 2010 and w plan to expand our business further through the Zambian entity. Your continuous support for our business will be highly appreciated<” he said.