By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The National Development Coordinating Committee (NDCC) has recommended that Government should focus more on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).
This is to ameliorate the funding problem, and work closely with the private sector and development cooperating partners, among other remedial measures in the face of the negative impact of COVID-19.
NDCC Acting Chairperson the Minister of Finance Bwalya Ngandu said that the unprecedented times at present with the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the country.
Mr N’gandu said this is through health shocks, domestic economic restrictions and lockdowns, revenue losses, increased spending, reduced exports, capital flow reversals and lower commodity prices.
He said given the unfavourable short- to medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal outlook, Ministries, Provinces and spending, agencies (MPSAs) are likely to face more funding challenges.
Mr N’gandu said the Committee noted that the implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are consequently going to be affected, with funding to most programmes having drastically reduced.
He said part of the effort to contribute to economic recovery and sustainable growth is that the Ministries of Finance, National Development Planning and Commerce, Trade and Industry should work with the African Development Bank to identify areas which can enhance private sector participation.
Mr N’gandu said government is implementing measures to improve the business environment, it is necessary for private sector to step up and take up a more active role in the economic affairs of the country.
“On 2021 electoral preparation, the NDCC noted that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) had committed to conduct voter registration up to November, which will be in the rainy season and that it will incorporate COVID-19 management content in the electoral process. The Committee noted that this would include introduction of the Online Pre-Registration Service to reduce the interaction between the applicant and the registration officer.
“The Electoral Commission of Zambia should ensure that logistics are in place to reach the remotest parts of the country before the rainy season starts. ECZ should ensure all requisite materials are in the country in good time, in view of the widespread and global lockdowns and restrictions which have affected movements of goods and persons,” the NDCC recommended.