By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Minister of finance and National planning Situmbeko Musokotwane says there is no need for Zambians to be afraid of the conditions that will be set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the country to be on its program.
Speaking at a press briefing, Dr Musokotwane said the IMF conditions are not meant to harm the economy but put it on a path to recovery
“Currently, there is no formal agreement between Zambia and the IMF because the Fund is waiting for other creditors to agree on how they will help Zambia restructure its debt and IMF is equally concerned about the welfare of the vulnerable,” he said.
Dr Musokotwane said once the assurance has been made by the creditors, the IMF will proceed to provide support which will unlock other donors and private sector investment.
The minister also said that failure to get the IMF program will make it extremely difficult to have an orderly debt restructuring process and will negatively impact the country.
“My ministry during the last spring meetings in Washington DC, engaged various creditors to help Zambia come out of the debt crisis, we also commenced preparations for the 2023 budget and the 2023 – 2025 medium term expenditure framework,” he said.
Dr Musokotwane also invited various stakeholders to make submissions on the expenditure and revenue measures.
“The measures should not only take into account the challenges both the public and private sectors are experiencing but should also be growth enhancing, there is need to adjust taxes and see how they can be administered so that the country can encourage investments from various economic sectors such as mining and tourism,” he said.
And Secretary to Treasury Felix Nkulukusa said the conditions in the staff agreement between Zambia and the IMF are stipulated in the 2022 budget.
He said once Government gets on the IMF program; it will access 1-point 4 billion dollars budget support.