By REBECCA MUSHOTA -
ZAMBIA is on a constructive path to full economic recovery, social economic stability and creation of jobs, Minister of Finance Felix Mutati has said.
Mr Mutati said Zambia was on her way to achieving full economic recovery, as well as socio-economic stability and reach greater heights of job-creation, prosperity, and countrywide poverty reduction.
The minister said this when the Zambian delegation at the 2017 International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC, United States, commenced discussions with the IMF on the homegrown economic stability and growth programme.
This is according to a statement issued by Ministry of Finance head of media and public relations Chileshe Kandeta yesterday.
Mr Mutati said the Zambian Cabinet had approved the country’s homegrown economic stabilisation and growth programme following discussions with the civil society, the private sector, trade unions, and the public service.
“Our emphasis is to take the self-motivated initiative in implementing the economic stabilisation and growth programme, while making progress to finalise discussions on the need for support from the IMF,” Mr Mutati said.
He assured of consistent substantial removal of subsidies on petroleum products, power and that the Government had commissioned a cost of service study for the energy sector.
Mr Mutati said President Edgar Lungu continued to be a symbol of positivity and great leadership as he had allowed his Government to develop a homegrown plan which had been internationally acknowledged.
Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet for finance and economic development Christopher Mvunga said the Government was implementing measures aimed at improving the coordination and productivity of the public service through efficient and transparent systems of service delivery and financial accountability.
Zambia is seeking consolidation of discussions on the planned IMF-supported programme and full conclusion once all policy issues and benchmarks are mutually agreed during the course of the year.
Among those who attended the initial talks with the IMF together with Mr Mutati were Mr Mvunga, Bank of Zambia Governor Denny Kalyalya, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary for economic management Mukuli Chikuba and other senior Government and Bank of Zambia officials.
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank managing director Daniel Hanna said according to a feedback from partners, Zambia’s engagement with the IMF was a strong statement to the international investor community that the country was committed to positively transform, stabilise and grow the economy.
The Zambian delegation has already had preliminary meetings with the World Bank, African Development Bank Group, Deutsche Bank and Atlas Mara.