By Duncan Mlanjira
In order to develop sports in the country, Government has introduced a Customs Procedure Code under the Customs and Excise (Tariffs) Order to allow top flight football and netball teams to import one bus, with seating capacity of 26 or more, duty free for every five years.
This was announced by Finance Minister, Joseph Mwanamveka in his presentation of the 2020/21 National Budget in Parliament on Friday, June 12 in which he also said the duty free has been extended to churches and similar religious institutions.
This measure, Mwanamveka said, is intended to ease mobility and transport challenges that are faced by these very important Institutions.
Top flight football teams, especially those not sponsored, struggle to cross cross the country to fulfill their fixtures.
Usually there are two teams representing the Northern Region League in the TNM Super League and that means travelling a lot to the centre and South, which have more representation in the 16-member top flight league.
Most teams hire from private bus operators and to minimize cost the clubs opt to settle for a small minibus in which the 20 members are cramped.
By the time they reach their destination, the players legs are very stiff, which affect their performance on the pitch.
Other tax free measures on vehicles under the Customs Procedure Codes has been extended to Paramount Chiefs in order to their mobility in support of their enormous work. They will be allowed to import one motor vehicle duty free in every five years.
Under the Customs and Excise (Tariffs) Order, Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament are allowed to import motor vehicles duty free during their tenure of office.
“Motor vehicles admitted under this procedure were controlled and could not be disposed of without paying duty [but now] the Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament will now be allowed to have the control endorsement in the motor vehicle registration certificate removed after five years without payment of duty,” Mwanamveka announced.
Other duty removals include dumpers designed for off-highway, for use in road construction and extractive industries, intended to support infrastructure development in the country.
The Government has also reduced Excise tax on opaque beer from 40 to 30 percent in order to promote the industry, secure employment and support the entire value chain which involves local farmers in maize, millet and sorghum production.