Government’s Economic policy inconsistent, positively look at Fitch’s downgrade-JCTR
The Jesuit center for theological reflections JCTR has expressed concern over the inconsistency in government policy pronouncements has been a source of concern.
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection Programmes Manager Geoffrey Chongo says that inconsistency in the PF government promised the people of Zambia on the windfall tax.
Mr. Chongo said that after the PF got into power,the Minister of Finance suddenly announced that government was not going to reintroduce windfall tax. Mr. Chongo said that that the PF government also while in opposition and even after getting into power promised that they would increase their stake in the mining companies but today Zambians are being told it is not government policy.
He said that it is this policy inconsistency among other factors that has led Fitch to downgrade Zambia’s economic outlook. He has noted that the Minister of Finance has acknowledged that there is inconsistency in policy pronouncements in his Government and he has blamed this development on some top government officials.
He said that there is therefore urgent need to address this inconsistency and assure markets that there is no policy shift and not simply dismiss Fitch’s concerns as inglorious opinion. Mr. Chongo has added that it is also misleading for Government to say that Fitch’s recent economic outlook downgrade is inconsequential to the Zambian economy.
He explained that Rating agencies’ opinion world over have significant impact on individual countries’ economic performance as they influence investor sentiments. He has noted that the growth of the Zambian economy in the last few years has largely been influenced by increased inflow of foreign investment and the PF Government has not shifted from this focus.
He said that maintaining foreign investors’ confidence in the economy thus still remains cardinal to the positive economic outlook of the economy and the fight against poverty.
The JCTR programmes manager has since advised the Zambian Government to positively look at the recent downgrade of Zambia’s economic outlook by Fitch rating and become more systematic and consistent in its policy pronouncement and implementation.