The Ministry of Finance says Zambia’s external debt currently stands at 4.8 billion United States dollars representing about 18.5 percent of the GDP.
The domestic debt standards at 20.5 billion kwacha representing about 14.2 percent of the country’s GDP.
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda told parliament that the total public debt is around 32.7 percent GDP.
Mr Chikwanda said the country’s debt position is far below the internationally accepted threshold of 40 percent.
He said the country’s debt position was confirmed by the results of the Debt Sustainability Analysis undertaken in June 2014.
Mr Chikwanda said government was not complacent as it takes issues of debt sustainability very serious.
Meanwhile, Mr Chikwanda says he has set up a sinking fund for the purpose of repaying the two sovereign Eurobonds amounting to 750 million and 1 million United States dollars.
The two sovereign Eurobonds were issued on the international capital market in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
This was contained in a mid-year economic and budget review statement made available to media by the ministry of finance.
Mr Chikwanda explained in the statement that the funds from the sinking fund will be used to repay back the Eurobonds.
Mr Chikwanda further disclosed that the sinking fund was set up according to the provisions of the loans and guarantees act cap 366 of the laws of Zambia.
Meanwhile, Government has disclosed that the 2016 National budget preparations have commenced and the ministry of finance is expecting members of the public to participate in the formulation process by submitting proposals that will contribute to the 2016 economic program and the medium term outlook.
Government has since appealed to all stakeholder groups to publish their budget proposals to government in advertorial format so as to accord the public the benefit of understanding the unabridged thrust of their ideas.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has reiterated government’s commitment to economic policies for 2016 and for the medium term saying the duo will be anchored on fiscal consolidation, policy consistency and economic stability in order to provide an environment for investment, job creation and wealth-creation.
He encouraged the public to submit proposals and ideas on tax and non-tax policies as well as on public expenditure policies whose target should be to facilitate achievement of the country’s economic and poverty reduction goals.
He said this in a statement made available to ZANIS by Ministry of Finance Public Relations Officer Chileshe Kandeta.
And Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba says government is concerned with touting of miss-information on tax and budget matters in Zambia, including some analysts representing foreign and international organizations.
He added that the current budget consultation process avails the public an opportunity to engage with interests groups and the government to ensure that there is harmony in understanding what needs to be done to better the lives of citizens in Zambia.
Mr Yamba urged interest groups to hold public forums at which their unabridged budget proposals should be availed to interested citizens before being forwarded to them Ministry.