The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflections JCTR has expressed concern with rate at which country is quickly losing fiscal autonomy on account of exacerbated debt contraction with the current external debt is estimated to exceed US $4 billion by close of Fiscal Year 2014.
The organisation says the government’s borrowing at a commercial rate as opposed to bilateral, multilateral and concessional loans is a major source of worry as the country will be forced to pay high interest rates instead of channeling the resource to developmental needs.
The organisation further expresses concern over the lack of a sound risk management profile and are not backed by legislative oversight.
“It is rather a sad reality that over 60 per cent of Zambians live in poverty. Hence Zambia needs to improve on performance of its social sector namely health, education, nutrition, water and sanitation and social protection.
“According to the Ministry of Finance, government allocated US$ 29 Million from the 2012 US $750 million Euro bond to the health sector for modernization of the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) , Livingstone General Hospital, Kitwe General Hospital, and Ndola General Hospital.”
The Centre adds that bond proceeds which have been allocated to the health sector were targeted at procurement of specialized equipment for theatre, prosthetics, orthotics, and other equipments which will not be generating income hence adding more pressure to the already over burdened tax payer.
The organisation has since called on government to ensure that resources raised by means of debt contraction are used for purposes of sustainable development.
“On this score, JCTR is appealing for maximum discipline on the part of controlling officers charged with the responsibility of implementing programmes and activities financed from debt proceeds”.
This is contained in a statement issued by JCTR.