Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has dispelled reports that Government is working on measures aimed at introducing currency and capital controls.
Opposition UPND Hakainde Hichilema recently revealed in an interview that the PF administration is drafting a new statutory instrument that will restrict the flow of foreign exchange by combining the revoked SI 33 and SI 55 of 2012.
But Mr Yamba said these reports are misleading and mere fabrications.
‘It’s all false. In this respect, the Ministry of Finance would like to assure the general public, private sector and all other stakeholders that, the Government remains unequivocally committed to principles of a free-market economy driven by the private sector with Government playing a role of facilitator and regulator,’ Mr Yamba said.
He said this is in line with progressive and modern day economic management world-wide.
Mr Yamba said Government has no intentions of re-introducing capital controls, or any other form, such as price controls adding that Government will stand by this assurance.
‘The Government is however, considering the re-introduction of currency regulations whose principal objective is to reinforce the Kwacha as legal tender in the nation,’ he said.
He added, ‘The other objective is to ensure effectiveness in the conduct of monetary policy whose principle purpose is price stability, a necessary condition for any economy to thrive.’
‘The general public, business community and all stakeholders may remember that SI 33 (Currency Regulations) and SI 55 (Balance of Payments Monitoring) of 2012 were revoked to allow for wider consultations across sections of the Zambian society,’ he said.
Mr Yamba said after the revocation, the Government embarked on consultations with key interest groups, more importantly representatives of private sector entities and associations.
‘I wish to inform the public that a lot of progress has been made with respect to consultations on currency regulations which His Excellency, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu made reference to in his press conference held on 26 November 2015.’
He added, ‘The consultations have been very open and focused on getting the views and suggestions from a cross section of stakeholders on what would be the ideal regulations required to enforce the Kwacha as legal tender without any disruption to business activities.’
He said, ‘The public may also wish to know that consultations on this matter were extended to selected countries in the region and beyond.’
‘At the back of these consultations, Government fully recognises its responsibility of ensuring macroeconomic stability, and is strongly resolved in quickening the pace of fiscal consolidation and implementation of attendant measures as recently outlined by the President.’