LOCAL government permanent secretary Amos Malupenga says the FRA has been disputing paying maize grain levies to councils saying they store maize for food security while councils contend that the crop marketing body sells the produce.
In his presentation to the 61st Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) conference in Livingstone, Malupenga said the Minister of Local Government has to issue an amendment to the crop levy Statutory Instrument No. 37 of 2008 so that it is clearly spelt out to include statutory bodies that transact in maize crop.
“The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has been disputing paying grain levy for reasons that they are a strategic institution for national food security. They argue that they retain maize stocks for that purpose and not for commercial use. However, councils contend that FRA exports maize and also trades with millers hence they cannot be exempt to the Statutory Instrument No. 37 of 2008, cited as the Local Government (Maize Levy) Regulations, 2008,” Malupenga said.
He added that the ministry was working with the Ministry of Justice to amend the crop levy Statutory nstrument.
On the amendment of the Rating Act, Malupenga said it was not the right atmosphere to discuss the issue since the country just come out of a general election.
“We have now drafted the revisions to the Act for stakeholders input, then for escalation to the Ministry of Justice for further guidance,” said Malupenga.