Finance and National Planning Minister Alexander Chikwanda has said Zambia needs huge amounts of financial resources for her to successfully accomplish the crusade of improving the welfare of the citizenry.
Mr. Chikwanda said this in Chinsali today during the official opening of the first ever Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) offices in the district, which was upgraded to the provincial headquarter when a tenth province, Muchinga, was created two years ago.
The minister noted that Zambia still has a long way to go in terms of making meaningful impact on poverty reduction.
Mr. Chikwanda has since called for collective efforts in a bid to stimulate economic growth countrywide thereby improving the lives of the people.
He stressed that it was the onus of every citizen to pay taxes as government needs revenue to drive the country’s development agenda.
He further said government would ensure that all the taxes collected were used prudently to the benefit of society.
Mr. Chikwanda also explained that the low levels of investment have greatly contributed to the high levels of poverty in Zambia.
He said government would strive to increase the levels of investment noting that this was the only sure way of accelerating national development.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chikwanda has implored ZRA management to raise the levels of zero tolerance against corruption and all forms of abuse.
He said the authority should administer severe punitive sanctions against officers found wanting as this will serve as a deterrent to would be offenders.
Meanwhile, Muchinga Province Minister Gerry Chanda said the opening of the ZRA offices in Chinsali district would contribute towards the scaling up of tax revenue collection in the country.
Colonel Chanda implored ZRA officers to engage the community by explaining to them the importance of paying taxes.
He advised ZRA not to take a policing approach but rather that of sensitising in order for the tax payers to appreciate the benefits of paying taxes.
However, Col. Chanda appealed to the business community in Chinsali to make use of the ZRA offices by paying taxes.
And speaking earlier at the same function, ZRA Commissioner General Berlin Msiska said the creation of Muchinga province provided an opportunity for ZRA to open its first ever offices in the region.
Mr. Msiska noted that the opening of the Chinsali ZRA office would help bring taxpayers’ services closer to the people in the provinces.
He said taxpayers would no longer be subjected to covering long distances to pay taxes.