IMF talks progress slowly

 IMF talks progress slowly

By Staff writer
The Ministry of Finance and National Planning yesterday held a virtual meeting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to update the Staff-Level-Agreement Reached in December last year.

The Ministry states that during the meeting, updates were made on the macro-economic framework underpinning the program due to an updated economic forecast and progress that has been achieved this far on the country’s economic reform agenda.

“The IMF noted that Zambia has made progress in communicating a credible plan for fiscal adjustment, enhancing fiscal controls, debt transparency and strengthening the independence of the Bank of Zambia.

Growth and fiscal performance in 2021 were also better than projected,” reads the statement by the Ministry.

Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, in the meeting gave gratitude to the IMF mission to Zambia for recent discussions held , as they had come at an important time.

‘’We look forward to continued engagement with the Fund as we negotiate with our creditors and seek a solution to the debt crisis facing our country,” he said.

He said that on December 3rd, last year Government reached an IMF Staff-Level-Agreement that envisages the provision of

US$1.4 billion under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Program over the next three years to provide resources and help anchor Zambia’s reform agenda.

“The agenda is based on four pillars being economic transformation and job creation, human and social development, environmental sustainability and good governance. Zambia’s program presentation to the Board still remains subject to IMF Management and Executive Board approval and receipt of the necessary financing assurances from the county’s creditors,” he said.