12 December 2012

Zambia: 'Safeguards in Place for Rebased Currency'

GOVERNMENT has assured that it has put in place measures to prevent opportunistic price increases during the changeover to the rebased currency next month.

Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary Stephen Mwansa said the Government would not tolerate any price opportunistic behaviours during the currency changeover.

"In making sure that there are no opportunistic pricing increases during the currency changeover the Government has put in place measures that are aimed at preventing the vice," Mr Mwansa said.

He said the rebasing of the local currency would, among other things, ease the comparability of the Kwacha with other major currencies of interested investors.

He said one of the key issues in doing business was having a meaningful comparison of where to invest.

Mr Mwansa said in Lusaka yesterday that having a rebased currency would assist would-be investors to quickly determine the values and returns on their funds.

"The Government is keen in ensuring that doing business in Zambia is less stressful for local and international investors and a lot of progress has been made.

"The initiatives are aimed at making sure that the ease of doing business in Zambia will continue to be improved upon until we reach the desired standards," he said.

Mr Mwansa said the Government stands ready to support a fair taxation system of the mining sector during and after the changeover of the currency.

He called on mining companies to be compliant with local taxation laws and warned that the Government would be strengthening the transfer pricing rules thus ensuring that tax revenue was collected wherever it was due.

And Bank of Zambia (BoZ) representative, Raphael Kasonde said with effect from January all commercial banks would be giving two bank statements, one in the rebased currency and the other in the current currency.

He said this would be done to avoid confusion between the banks and their customers.

"Banks will be giving two bank statements, one in the rebased currency and another one in the current currency.

"This is to avoid confusion between the banks and their customers over the amounts of money which would be reflecting in the rebased currency," he said.

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