High cement prices worry EPCCI

Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI says the increment in prices of cement will have an impact on the overall cost of construction.

EPCCI President Thomas Mtonga further says the increment in prices of cement has come few weeks after the prices of fuel were increased.

Mr. Mtonga says the current price of cement, which is trading at 90 Kwacha for a 50 kilogramme bag, is difficult to justify.

He says that this is because the introduction of the two Kwacha exercise duty on a pocket of cement cannot push up the price by more than 20 Kwacha.

Mr. Mtonga however, says that there are a number of factors that can affect the price increment of cement.

He explains that the valuable costs of cement are energy during production and transportation.

Mr. Mtonga hopes the prices of cement can stabilize because it has a serious impact on developers.

He joined calls by some stakeholders to authorities to investigate why prices of cement have gone up in Chipata.

Mr. Mtonga noted that Zambia has two major companies producing cement, who cannot sale the product at the same price.

 

Local toursim investors told to make challenges known

President Edgar Lungu has advised local investors in the tourism industry to make their challenges known to Government in order to make the environment more friendly for local investments.

President Lungu said the growth of a sustainable tourism industry can only be achieved when there are more local investors in the sector.

He was speaking upon arrival at Mfuwe international airport enroute to Luwawata lodge where he is scheduled to meet King Mswati of Swaziland.

President Lungu also notes that there is need to improve infrastructure such as roads and hotels to encourage more tourists into the country.

He also states that there should be competitive and attractive bed paces in hotels among tourism areas in the country.

And President Lungu says he will tour the provinces to establish how prepared the country is for the farming season.

President Lungu says he will not depend on information that will be submitted by his Ministers but will get on the ground and understand the situation.

He states that he wants to see the agriculture sector grow for a sustainable economy.

Meanwhile, first lady Esther Lungu who accompanied the head of state says there is need to increase animal species to attract more tourists to the country’s national game parks.

Mrs Lungu notes that though the country is managing to attract tourists with the current numbers and animal species, there is need to do more as tourism has a potential to grow the economy.

The presidential challenger carrying President Lungu touched down at Mfuwe international airport at about 10:40 hours this morning.

Chadiza Town Council unveils a K14.9 million 2018 budget.

Chadiza Town Council has unveiled a 14.9 Million Kwacha Capital investment Plan and budget for 2018.

The budget was presented by Council Treasurer Smart Muwowo during a Stakeholders meeting on the revenue estimates and Capital investment plan.

Mr Muwowo revealed that a total of 5.1 million Kwacha of the budget will be generated through local revenue while 8.4 million Kwacha will be from national support through grants from government.

One point four million Kwacha will be financed through the Local Development Fund such as CDF, Constituency Development Fund.

He said that a total sum of 4.4 million Kwacha has been budgeted for capital investment projects such as the modern abattoir, maintenance of feeder and township roads, rehabilitation and drilling of boreholes, extension and maintenance of a Trucker’s Parking Area at Chanida border and the construction of a fire station.

He said that 10.5 million Kwacha will be used to finance other projects to be undertaken by the council next year.

CSPR welcomes suspension of gold mining licenses

The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction CSPR in Eastern Province says it is happy with government’s position to suspend illegal Gold mining in Vubwi, Petauke and Nyimba.

CSPR Provincial Coordinator Maxon Nkhoma says the decision taken by government is in the best interest of the people of Eastern province and should be supported.

Mr. Nkhoma says CSPR had noted with concern that the current illegal mining of Gold is led by foreigners mostly from the neighbouring Tanzania leaving the local people as mere agents of illegal mining.

He says the suspension of licenses for Gold mining will enable the government mobilize better companies that will run the Gold mines in the best interest of the local communities while adhering to environmental laws as prescribed by ZEMA, the Zambia Environment Management Agency.

Mr. Nkhoma says this means that Government will also collect appropriate taxes and mineral royalties from Gold mining companies which can be channelled to poverty reduction programs

Mr. Nkhoma says the affected companies have been claiming to be doing exploration for a longer period than is necessary.

He has further appealed to government to reduce the period of exploration given to mining companies.

He says the current period which can go up to 11 years of exploration is unreasonable and paves way for illicit mining while avoiding to pay required mineral taxes to government.