Implementation of new proposed Goods and Services Tax deferred

Government has disclosed that it will not be possible to start the implementation of the proposed Goods and Services Tax on April 1st as planned.

In her budget address, Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe revealed that Government will abolish Value Added Tax and replace it with the General Sales Tax which she said will be easier to administer.

During a budget review dinner on the evening of the budget presentation, Mrs Mwanakatwe revealed that the new Sales Tax will come into effect on April 1st.

But Justice Minister Given Lubinda said in an interview yesterday that it will be impossible to start implementing the new tax system on April 1st because a number of modalities are yet to be put in place.

Mr Lubinda said the General Sales Tax could not be implemented on 1st April before a law to support it is even tabled in Parliament.

He disclosed that a Legislative Cabinet meeting will soon be convened to discuss the proposed Bill.

Mr Lubinda said at no time did Mrs Mwanakatwe commit herself in the budget speech to start the implementation of the new Tax by April 1st.

“It cannot come into effect before it is passed by Parliament and it you read the Budget Speech, there is nowhere in her speech where she talks about 1st of April, she made that statement of 1st of April at a Post Budget meting at Intercontinental that I hope it can be done by the 1st of April,” Mr Lubinda said.

He added, “Its not sacrosanct that we launch on April 1st. If we manage well and good but i don’t think we will manage by 1st of April.”

This article first appeared on Lusaka Times at

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