REFILE-UPDATE 1-Lower copper prices to hit Zambia revenue receipts -official

Wed Sep 9, 2015 1:37pm EDT
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(Fixes exchange rate)

By Stella Mapenzauswa

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Zambia's revenue collection in 2015 could be even lower than the 2 billion Zambian kwacha ($202 million) downward adjustment the finance minister made earlier this year, as weaker copper prices take their toll, the revenue head said on Wednesday.

A slide in global copper prices has put pressure on Africa's second biggest producer of the metal, with export earnings depressed despite the kwacha's 55 percent fall against the dollar this year.

The finance minister cut his original revenue target by 2.12 billion kwacha in June, and on Wednesday Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) commissioner general Berlin Msiska suggested the shortfall could be bigger.

"I think it's fair to say, taking the economic fundamentals into account, it necessitates revisiting the numbers," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Johannesburg.

"In means that when you look at the fiscal table the government ends up with a wider financing gap."

Msiska told the conference that the ZRA had forwarded proposals to the finance ministry for regulations to prevent multinationals from using transfer pricing to evade paying taxes.

Transfer pricing happens when multinationals sell to their parent or subsidiaries abroad at lower prices leading to declaration of lower earnings or even losses, avoiding the payment of billions in tax revenues.   Continued...