The Zambian government has taken a significant step to streamline operations in the gemstone sector by introducing the Gemstones Production Reporting and Export Permit Module.
This initiative is designed to facilitate electronic mineral remand applications for gemstone export permits, providing mines and traders with a more efficient and user-friendly platform.
Dr. Hapenga Kabeta, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development (MMMD), highlighted the challenges faced by the gemstone sector in terms of compliance.
The new module is specifically designed to address these challenges by improving the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendliness of return filing and export permit processing.
During the launch in Kitwe, Director Mines Billy Chewe, speaking on behalf of Dr. Kabeta, emphasized that the module would enable the ministry to easily monitor and assess the compliance levels of each mineral right and permit holder.
He further announced the introduction of penalties for late and non-return submissions, underlining the government’s commitment to industry compliance.
Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General Dingani Banda urged participants in the gemstone industry to ensure compliance in both production and sales declarations.
Mr. Banda emphasized the importance of the sector contributing its fair share of taxes to the national treasury.
Despite Zambia being a top global producer of emeralds, Mr. Banda noted that the gemstone sector’s contribution to national revenue has been comparatively low.
The launch of the Gemstones Production Reporting and Export Permit Module aligns with the government’s efforts to enhance transparency, accountability, and revenue generation within the gemstone industry.