Cabinet has approved the contraction of a low-interest concessional loan of US$14,000,000 from the OPEC Fund for International Development to improve water and sanitation in 100 villages in all the 16 districts of Western Province.
According to a statement from State House, the loan contraction was approved at Cabinet’s eighth meeting held today.
The loan will attract an interest of 1.75 percent.
The statement said the project will comprise the construction and rehabilitation of water and sanitation infrastructure to enhance hygiene and clean water supply thereby improving the living conditions of the people of Western Province.
Cabinet noted that rural water supply and sanitation is critically essential in the improvement of people’s health.
President Edgar Lungu has since directed ministers that more investments in water and sanitation must be directed at rural areas in order to bring about equitable access these essential basic services.
Cabinet also approved the establishment of a Bilateral Treaty to establish the Malawi-Zambia Trans-frontier Conservation Area to enhance the management and conservation of wildlife and other natural resources across the international boundaries.
President Lungu also briefed Cabinet on the Summit of the African Union Committee of Ten (C-10) on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council which Zambia will host from 8th -10th May, 2015.
Meanwhile, Cabinet has also approved a Bill to repeal the Companies Act in order to strengthen corporate governance, align corporate law with relevant laws and national development aspirations including the promotion of foreign direct investment.
The new Companies Act is designed to enhance government policy on economic empowerment of citizens and the development of micro, small and medium enterprises.
The bill aims to simplify the registration procedures and reducing the cost of forming a company.
The new law will be aligned with other pieces of legislation that came into effect after the enactment of the Citizens’ Empowerment Act and the Zambia Development Agency Act, which are aimed at promoting greater citizens participation and promotion of foreign direct investment.
The 1994 Companies Act is no longer in tune with international best practices following the evolution of corporate law, which has placed a lot of emphasis on good corporate governance.
Several Government studies have revealed the need for reform of the business licensing regime particularly the simplification of the process of company incorporation.
The Companies Bill 2015, which will be presented to next sitting of Parliament, promotes transparency and high standards of corporate governance by clearly articulating the role of directors as well as providing a legal framework for the modernization of the Companies Registry.
Cabinet also approved the introduction of the Insolvency Bill 2015 to provide for personal bankruptcy, insolvency and receivership thereby strengthening the obligations and duties of Insolvency Practitioners.
Following international best practices, the Bill consolidates individual and corporate insolvency into one statute as well as introducing measures for business rescue.