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Zambia president threatens mining companies over tax

AFP  |  Lusaka 

Zambia's on Friday told international companies to leave the copper-rich country if they opposed a new tax regime, as he up a dispute over possible job losses.

Lungu has targeted the sector to generate revenue as the country struggles under growing debt, but businesses have warned that the tax proposals could trigger a mass withdrawal of investment and thousands of redundancies.

"Sales tax is here to stay... and those who don't want it, will leave," Lungu told cheering supporters in Ndola, around 300 kilometres (190 miles) north of the capital Lusaka, as he started a tour of Zambia's belt.

Piling on criticism of mining giants operating in such as and Glencore, he added: "I am saying this without fear or favour -- they have externalised a lot of money.

"Enough is enough, people are tired and we are not scaring investors because others will come."

Lungu said he would meet union officials and industry representatives in the province during his tour.

"is increasingly at risk of debt distress," Nick Branson, at consultancy, said in recent briefing paper.

"In a desperate attempt to balance the books, the has aggressively targeted companies."

Zambian public debt is officially around USD 15 billion, 70 per cent of GDP, but some analysts have alleged that the government could be hiding some loans -- as happened in neighbouring

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 22:41 IST