15 October 2012

Zambia: Zacci Happy With 2013 Budget, Tourism to Benefit

THE Zambia Association of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) has said the first fully tailored Patriotic Front Government national Budget will broaden the tax base and support the creation of employment.

And the Tourism Council of Zambia (TCZ) has said the pronouncements made in the 2013 Budget speech will invigorate economic growth in the tourism sector during the coming fiscal year.

ZACCI president Geoffrey Sakulanda said the 2013 Budget had broadened the tax base and would support the creation of employment especially from the incentives given to the manufacturing sector.

Mr Sakulanda described the Budget as a growth Budget adding that with the application of the Eurobond proceeds to infrastructure, this was a welcome move.

"Generally speaking, we are happy with the Budget. We think it is a growth Budget which will create employment and broaden the tax base," he said.

He said the increase in the threshold under which businesses are required to pay taxes on a turnover basis to K800 million from the current K200 million annual turn over would bring about compliance to the businesses.

And TCZ Chairperson Felix Mulenga said the council was pleased with the increased funding of tourism promotion activities to K32.2 billion.

Mr Mulenga said TCZ was pleased that Government had recognised the tourism sector as a major economic driver in the national development endeavours.

He said the council welcomed the move by Government to increase the VAT return threshold from the current K200 million to K 800 million.

He explained that 75 per cent of the tourism and hospitability operators were small to medium scale operators and had been struggling with VAT returns adversely affecting the cash flow, stifling growth of the SMEs

"What is important now is the prudence in choosing appropriate promotional activities, as private sector we do not expect these monies from tax payers sweat to be spent on unnecessary travels, meetings and road shows which are not going to yield results.

We expect aggressive marketing approaches for our tourism products by Zambia Tourism Board," Mr Mulenga said.

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