Newly appointed Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu says there is need for government to narrow the gap between the austerity measures announced and the action taken.

Speaking when he held his first senior management visioning meeting with his staff at the Ministry in Lusaka, Tuesday, Dr Ng’andu said Zambia’s challenge is that in the past few years, there has been agreed measures to be taken to streamline expenditure, but no action was actually taken.

He stressed the need for government to narrow the gap between the commitments made in the implementation of austerity measures.

“The current challenge is that we have agreed on measures over the last few years but we need to step-up on our action,” Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta quoted Dr Ng’andu as saying.

Dr Ng’andu added that there was need for government to restore fiscal fitness by taking a more granular approach in identifying the specific actions that needed to be taken to achieve sustainable economic growth.

And Dr Ng’andu further called on his staff to take a more professional approach towards finance and economic management.

He outlined three success factors to the economy as effective expenditure control, debt management, and enhanced domestic resource mobilisation.

Later, Dr Ng’andu was sworn-in as member of parliament by Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini.

The development, however, raised eyebrows among critics who accused President Edgar Lungu of swearing in a nominated member of Parliament before he was ordained a lawmaker.