THE Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has urged government to ensure that the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) is implemented as Zambia enters 2021 to avoid repeating the failure of its predecessor, the Economic Growth and Stabilisation Plan (EGSP).
In a statement, Wednesday, JCTR executive director Fr Alex Muyebe noted that the aspirations of the Economic Growth and Stabilisation Plan (EGSP), which preceded the Economic Recovery Programme, had not seen the light of day despite it being much-hyped, promising economic recovery, but achieving little.
“As we move into 2021, the Centre wishes to call on government to implement the many plans that we have set out as a nation. The Economic Recovery Programme was preceded by the Economic Growth and Stabilisation Plan whose aspirations have not seen the light of day! The Medium-Term Debt Strategy-2017 to 2019 also outlined excellent debt management plans that should have seen sustainability in the debt facet,” Fr Muyebe recalled.
He urged the PF government to have the wellbeing of every Zambian at heart as they implemented the country’s development agenda.
“JCTR has in 2020 endeavoured to bring to light key socio-economic issues that affect the dignity of the person, and facilitated dialogue between rights-holders and duty bearers in all its work. JCTR is alive to the fact that people should be the end and the means in every development undertaking. The Centre continues to call on the leaders of this nation to have the wellbeing of every Zambian at the core of every development agenda. Particular focus on the poor and vulnerable cannot be overemphasised as their lives are highly compromised in a challenging macroeconomic context,” he stated.
Father Muyebe stated that there was need for government to effect economic growth centred and pro-poor policies in the New Year.
“While the 2021 budget has planned to register some improvements in the nation’s macroeconomic indicators and considerably increase allocations to a number of social sector budget lines, the 2020 budget macroeconomic indicators and expenditure outturns, particularly for the social sector, remain way below projected figures. Evidently, the need for government to effect economic growth centred and pro-poor policies with a focus on climate smart agriculture, energy supply, private sector led growth and commitment to effective debt management in 2021 is paramount,” stated Fr Muyabe.
He further called on all Zambians and all State and non-State institutions to ensure peaceful and fair elections next year, adding that although threatened, democracy and constitutionalism remained critical pillars of development.