Debt swap initiative halt welcome-CTPD
By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has welcomed Government’s decisions to halt the debt swap initiative.
CTPD Head of Research Boyd Muleya said that the debt swap was implemented in haste and lacked the full support of key stakeholders such as the financial lending institutions.
Mr Muleya said the Center remained critical of the initiative because of the way it was executed, its selectivity, timing, and information gaps.
He said the previous government did not provide salient details to justify its speedy roll out.
“We initially expected statistics on the extent of indebtedness of civil servants, their loan balances with various financial institutions, and how many of those were on the Payroll Management and Establishment Control (PMEC) or Direct Debit or both. We had further requested Government to disclose how much it owed lending institutions in an unremitted loan repayment for civil servants,” he said.
Mr Muleya said the center recognize with concern, the challenges that most civil servants face in so far as indebtedness is concerned and coupled with the high cost of living and poor Government salaries
He has appealed to Government to give a comprehensive report that informed the decision to the debt swap.
Mr Muleya said that this is now a matter of national interest and Zambian taxpayers would like a clear policy direction on the alternative.
He has urged Government to review the debt swap initiative from a detailed lens and use it as a basis for redesigning the programme after thorough consultations with key stakeholders.