President Edgar Lungu has officially opened the third session of the 12 national assembly.
And President Lungu has ignored calls that he discloses Zambia’s actual debt in his speech to open Parliament today.
President Lungu however says the debt Zambia has contracted was necessary to support government’s ambitious agenda of laying a solid foundation for the future growth of the Country’s economy.
Speaking this morning in Parliament President Lungu said this is already being appreciated through construction of roads, schools and hospitals, which he says are critical for the well being of the people.
President Lungu has assured the nation that government is on the other hand committed to ensuring a speedy return to low risk of debt distress and maintaining the debt in sustainable levels.
He has also disclosed that the 2019 national budget which the Minister of Finance will present in this session of the House will build on policies as outlined in the economic stabilization grow programme.
President Lungu says next year’s national budget will also build on policies as outlined in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
The Head of State has since urged Members of Parliament to support the 2019 national budget and appreciate its details when it is presented in the House.
President Lungu’s speech to Parliament was under the theme: Working together to achieve vision 2030
And President Lungu has assured the nation that government will continue implementing the e-voucher system in the administration of the Farmer Input Support programme (FISP).
President Edgar Lungu says this is for the improved efficiency, transparency and accountability in the management of the programme.
He states that for the fact that FISP is not for all farmers, he urges the private sector to complement government’s efforts by making inputs readily available to farmers Countrywide.
He is urging the private sector to do this at affordable cost.
Meanwhile President Lungu notes that Zambia’s copper production increased from 371, 285 metric tons, in the first quarter of 2017, to 410, 919 metric tons in same period this year.
President Edgar Lungu says cooper export earnings also increased by 22.8 percent from US$ 2.8 billion between January and June 2017, to US$3.5 billion in the same period this year.
He has told Parliament that it is government’s policy to see value addition to the Country’s copper.
President Lungu notes that this is already happening at ZAMEFA in Luanshya, ZALCO in Kabwe and at Neelkanth Cable Limited in Masaiti.
He states that government however wants to see more value addition to the Country’s resources.