IMF TEAM IN, TREASURY NETS K38BN

AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) team is in the country to exchange information on economic data with the government, Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe announced yesterday.
And Ms Mwanakatwe also disclosed that government has collected more than K38billion in revenue and grants from January to September in 2018.
The minister said the IMF visit would allow the development of a macroeconomic framework that would be used under the upcoming article four consultations.
Ms. Mwanakatwe said the framework would also form a basis for determination of any policy adjustment required going forward.
On revenue, the minister said the K38.7 billion collected was 1.1 percent higher than the target of K38.3billion.
The minister said in Lusaka yesterday at a third quarter economic performance press briefing that the total expenditure over the same period was K50.3 billion which was below the target of K 51. 4 billion at 2. 1 percent
She said the external debt as at close of the third quarter was $9.51 billion from $9.37 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2018.
Ms Mwanakatwe who is Lusaka Central lawmaker said a total of K5.1 billion was paid towards domestic debt service.
‘‘Government acknowledges the rising vulnerabilities from its debt profile and is committed to implementation of austerity measures to ensure movement back to moderate debt risk distress,’’ she said.
She said the macroeconomic fundamentals were expected to remain stable in the last quarter of 2018 despite the pressure from the recent depreciation of the Kwacha and inflation but affirmed that inflation was anticipated to close the year within a single digit ratio.
Ms. Mwanakatwe said the reserve position as at end August was $1.73 billion from $1.82 billion in June, 2018.
She said happenings such as those at the ministries of Education, Community Development and Lusaka provincial administration would be dealt with decisively through instant dismissals and prosecutions as provided for under the public financial management act.
Ms Mwanakatwe said any misappropriated funds would be recovered from perpetrators. She said this month Zambia was scheduled to host the World Bank International Development Association (IDA) 18 high-level mid-term review.
And cooperating partners’ chairperson Hanai Junichi applauded President Edgar Lungu and Ms Mwanakatwe for putting in place robust interventions which steered the economy in the right direction.
Mr Junichi who is Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) resident representative said he was hopeful that Zambia would have brighter economic prospects.

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