Examining Zambia’s Mineral Taxation

The objective of this paper written by Bob Conrad, is to examine Zambia’s fiscal regime for minerals. The paper begins with a description of Zambia’s fiscal regime in an international comparative context and then elaborates upon a framework to evaluate the country’s mineral policy in the context of a broader fiscal regime, both in the short- and long-term. Emphasis is placed on developing a foundation upon which the policy and administrative apparatus can evolve through time. There is renewed commitment from the Zambian government to increase government return from mining via increased enforcement, review of existing contracts, and changes in the fiscal regime, such as the recent increase in royalty rates and restrictions on the use of hedging.

In general there appears to be room for government to achieve this objective based on the discussion in this chapter. Increasing government’s return is however, not without costs, and it is important that government decision-makers think systematically about how greater returns are achieved. Bob Conrad recommends an incremental approach, where administrative enhancements are coupled with rationalisation of the various revenue instruments as opposed to imposing additional charges without rationalisation of existing instruments.

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