President Michael Sata has defended his governments move to remove the fuel subsidy.He explained thats its removal would avail funds to be used in the social sector and infrastructure development.He assured Zambians that the PF government remains committed to ensuring that there is a transparent and equitable distribution of resources to all sectors to facilitate greater economic growth.
Below is the Full statement
For Immediate Release
PRESIDENT SATA ON THE REMOVAL OF FUEL SUBSIDY
LUSAKA, Thursday, May 2, 2013 – His Excellency, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia, has said the removal of the subsidy on petroleum products will enable the state to have more finances available for spending and guarantee proper implementation of all government programmes and projects.
President Sata said it is necessary that the subsidy on petroleum products, which has been a burden on state coffers for a longtime, is removed and consequently the price of fuel adjusted upwards in order to attract wider social benefits for the general populace.
“In 2012 alone, the Treasury redirected resources amounting to KR754 Million (K754 Billion) from implementation of other government programmes and activities in the Budget to finance the fuel subsidy,” the Head of State said.
“For the 2013 budget, the Government has already paid a sum of KR571.5 Million (K571.4 Billion) in fuel subsidies as at 18th January, 2013. It is estimated that more than K1.1 Trillion (KR1.1 Billion) will be paid in 2013 as subsidies if no adjustment is made to the price build up and/or the pump price.
“Our people may wish to know that the estimated K1.1 Trillion (KR1.1 Billion) subsidy can go a long way in financing the construction of more than 100 new rural primary schools or over 120 new rural health centres to help the majority marginalized Zambians.”
The President has further explained that these funds are diverted from expenditure on social sectors and infrastructure development that if spent would have accelerated poverty reduction and employment creation especially for the youths.
“The removal of the subsidy will make more finances available for spending and guarantee job creation and the development of infrastructure such as schools, universities, hospitals as well as the Link Zambia 8000 project, which will open up the rural areas for increased trade and investment,” President Sata said.
“The decision will also make funds available for the upgrading of the Indeni Oil Refinery to enable it process pure crude oil, which is cheaper to import and will result in cheaper imports by about US$10 Million while providing other by-products to be used in the plastic, road and fertilizer industries. I believe the overall short and long-term benefits to Zambians of this action, outweighs by far any perceived negative consequences.”
President Sata said in its pursuit to improve the livelihood of all Zambians, the PF government remains committed to ensuring that there is a transparent and equitable distribution of resources to all sectors to facilitate greater economic growth.
Meanwhile, President Sata is this Friday [tomorrow] expected to flag off the commencement of the construction of the 61Km Chalimbana Road project. This is another project under the Link Zambia 8000, which will provide a shorter route to the Leopards Hill Road passing through Chiawa to Chirundu.
The same day, the Head of State is also expected to lay a foundation stone for the construction of Chalimbana University. This is part of President Sata’s vision to overhaul and develop the education system by increasing the number of public universities as espoused in the PF manifesto.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS