by Thomas Mulenga on 22 Mar 2018by Abraham Kalito on 22 Mar 2018by Nancy Moonga on 22 Mar 2018by Nancy Moonga on 22 Mar 2018
- Goal Diggers
by Mirriam Chabala on 21 Mar 2018by Nancy Moonga on 21 Mar 2018by Zondiwe Mbewe on 21 Mar 2018by Mukosha Funga on 19 Mar 2018
by Zondiwe Mbewe on 21 Mar 2018by Zondiwe Mbewe on 19 Mar 2018by Diggers Reporter on 7 Mar 2018by Diggers Reporter on 2 Mar 2018
- Editor's Choice
by Diggers Editor on 21 Mar 2018by Diggers Editor on 19 Mar 2018by Diggers Editor on 17 Mar 2018by Diggers Editor on 14 Mar 2018
by Felix Kashweka on 10 Mar 2018by Sipilisiwe Ncube on 2 Mar 2018by Felix Kashweka on 24 Feb 2018by Felix Kashweka on 24 Feb 2018
- Guest Diggers
Mutati outlines Zambia’s remaining path to IMF packageBy Charles Mafa on 21 Jun 2017
Finance Minister Felix Mutati says government will have to address the higher than projected budget deficits, accumulation of arrears, and increased debt levels before the IMF staff presents Zambia’s bailout request to the board in August 2017.
And the minister said in the first five months of the year, the revenue underperformed by 10 per cent compared to the budget.
Mutati was speaking in parliament this afternoon when he presented the state of the economy address and gave an update on the ongoing negotiations with the IMF.
He said although the country had made tremendous social and economic progress, risks remained high on the external side.
“Based on the need to support the external side, increase market confidence, enhance investment flows and to leverage more resources of cooperating partners, government has engaged the IMF on a possible programme. In this regard, Mr Speaker, we hosted the IMF in discussion from the 29th of May to the 10th of June. Mr Speaker, during these meetings, the government and the Fund agreed on the remaining actions needed to reach a staff level agreement on a programme that could be supported under the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility. With the required actions agreed to have the programme presented to the board in August 2017,” said Mutati.
“Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to emphasise that the position with regards to where we’re in our discussion, the major issues required to be addressed for us to proceed to the conclusion, mainly relate to higher than projected budget deficits, accumulation of arrears and increased debt levels.”
The minister said key policy structural measures aimed at mitigating the above challenges include reforms in the energy and agricultural sectors.
“Further, recognising the reforms may have adverse effect on vulnerable members of our society. I did state Mr Speaker, that government will scale-up the social protection programmes, in additional to increased resources that government has committed to the programme. Our cooperating partners have also augmented these resources for social protection,” he said.
On the state of the economy, Mutati said “the economic performance has rebound with inflation down to single digit, the exchange rate remaining largely stable and the GDP starting to recover”.
“GDP growth Mr Speaker, in 2017 is projected to rise to 4.3 per cent against an initial focus of 3.4 per cent. This is as a result of increased agricultural output, recovering generation for electricity and higher mining output supported by better prices and power supply. Other sectors that are supporting the growth are construction, wholesale, trade and tourism,” Mutati said.
“Mr Speaker, inflation closed at 7.5 per cent in 2016 but has now reduced to 6.5 per cent in May 2017. This was supported by the continuous ability of the exchange rate, lower food prices in view of the good harvest and improved market confidence in the country’s economic policy direction. In the external sector, the country’s current account deficit narrowed to US $257 million in the first quarter of 2017, against a deficit of US $ 574 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. This was largely explained by an improvement in the trade and income balances.”
“Mr Speaker, Zambia’s external debt stock as at the end of May 2017 increased to US $ 17.2 billion from US $ 6.9 billion in December 2016. The increase on stock was on account of new disbursements. The domestic debt stock was 38.6 billion in May 2017 compared to 33 billion in December 2016.”
The minister said the fiscal performance in the first five months of 2017 was challenging.
“Revenue underperformed by 10 per cent compared to budget. This underperformance on revenue has been on account of lower tax compliance by tax payers and delayed implementation of budget measures such as land titling, installation of fiscal devices to improve VAT collection, implementation of electronic equipment in the communication sector to improve the performance of excise duty and the introduction of a single window at entry points to reduce the turnaround times at borders and boost revenues,” said Mutati.
About Charles Mafa
Charles Mafa is an Award winning investigative journalist, columnist and blogger.
Email: charles [at] diggers [dot] news
- Chinese rhino smugglers named - 15 Aug 2017
- Govt confirms arrest of Chinese smugglers - 31 Jul 2017
- Zambia arrests 3 Chinese, 2 locals for possessing 25 rhino horns - 29 Jul 2017
- Kwacha down to 8.8 per dollar - 13 Jul 2017
- Increased Zesco tariffs have caused rise in inflation – CSO - 1 Jul 2017
Subscribe for email alerts
Weekly Most Digged
ArchivesApr0 PostsMay0 PostsJun0 PostsJul0 PostsAug0 PostsSep0 PostsOct0 PostsNov0 PostsDec0 Posts
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
The News Diggers
Plot No. Lus/9812/649-MC8
off Alex Chola Road
P.O. Box 32147
Telephone or WhatsApp:
+26-097-7708285, 095-3424603, 096-5815078
diggers [at] diggers [dot] news
editor [at] diggers [dot] news
Send this to a friend