By Patricia Mbewe
The Centre for Trade Policy and Development -CTPD- says the salary cuts for highly paid government officials as directed by President Edgar Lungu will not cushion the challenges that Zambians are currently facing.
The salary cut for president Lungu and other government officials comes amid increases in both fuel and electricity tariffs as announced by the energy regulation board.
However, CTPD feels increasing fuel and electricity tariffs in such a space would compound the economic challenges through increasing the cost of production for the private sector and also reducing consumer demand.
Bright Chizonde is CTPD researcher and tells phoenix news that it is surprising that government has opted to reduce the salaries of top government and public officials by a maximum of 20% as a counter measure.
Mr. Chizonde said CTPD believes that government’s move is not reflective of the kind of austerity measures required for Zambia to overcome the current economic challenges.
He said CTPD proposes that government takes real austerity measures including among other things, auctioning the luxurious golf stream which the president recently procured, abandoning plans to relaunch a national airline as this will cause a serious strain on treasury and abolishing irrelevant ministries or structures of government such as the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
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