Dr Haabazoka Advises The Government To Issue A Percentage Of Treasury Bills Directly To The Public
Some percentage of treasury bills issued by the government should be placed directly with the public in order to extend the benefits of high yields to households. This will also help bring back unbanked money into the banking system. This measure, however, should move hand in hand with an amnesty on those that bring back huge sums of cash money to the banks. This can be forex or domestic currency.
It is estimated that over k5bn remains outside the normal financial system. Meaning it can’t be traced in the formal economy. For this and many other reasons, Zambia’s official GDP remains much lower than the actual GDP.
Zambia’s illicit alcohol business for clear beer, brown and white beers, hard liquor like whiskeys, Junta and others is estimated at over $200m. Now, this is the amount of money government intends to raise from the mining industry from the new mine tax regime (note that the mine output is around $6bn per year and external debt is $10bn). When you look at taxes on alcohol, GRZ gets around 100% in taxes. So it means that GRZ is losing over $200m in taxes on alcohol every year.
Companies legally operating in the alcoholic beverages industry are also losing out because of unfair business competition. Tax Enforcement in this sector should be done hand in hand with tax complaint alcohol producing companies and importers.
We need to introduce a hologram sticker on all hard liquor including junta. It is highly dangerous for citizens to consume hard liquor for as low k50. Taxes exist to correct consumer behaviour. Penalties for illicit booze should be harsh.
All imported clear beer should have a label of the distributor or importer in Zambia so that it is easy to check imported counterfeit or illicit beer.
Sanity to this sector will not only increase tax revenue for the government and also profits for companies playing by the rules but will also put booze off-limits to underaged teens. This will also protect the health of citizens in the country.
You can hardly find a genuine bottle of a red label in Zambia now. How is it possible that you can buy a bottle cheaper than it’s wholesale price in Scotland?