Government says it will remove subsidies over period of time as part of the country’s economic recovery program.
Finance Minister Hon. Felix Mutati says the government will over the next five years work on an intensive economic recovery programme that will among other things implement the removal of subsides.
Mr Mutati was quick to point out that the process would be done gradually adding that government would put a social safety impact programme in place to cushion the impact on the poor.
The minister was speaking at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC, where he briefed the diplomatic staff on the government’s economic plans over the next five years.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Mutati and Minister of National Planning and Development Hon. Lucky Mulusa held high level closed door consultations with the Bretton Wood institutions on issues of development for the country.
The two minsters are in the USA capital Washington DC to attend the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
The Zambian Delegation delegation met with ?Executive Director at IMF Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe and World Bank’s Vice President for Africa Makhtar Diop in separate closed door meetings.
Mr Mutati said the purpose of the meetings was to discuss how Zambia would partner with the institutions to help on its recovery programme.
He observed the ministers had candid discussions with the institutions at which the government was clear on the road map to the recovery.
The minister added that government was undertaking measures that will bring equity and sustainable growth for the country.
Mr Mutati noted that the country had a huge financing gap that was negatively impacting the country’s inflation rate worsened by low copper prices adding that the banking sector was currently holding up to 10 percent of bad debt.
The Minister said the government would announce the economic recovery program in the coming budget.
And Minister of National Development Planning Hon. Lucky Mulusa says his ministry is harmonizing all government plans and take stock of what needs to be done to accelerate development.
Mr Mulusa says his Ministry was created to respond to the lack of achievement of set goals in the development of the country.
He noted that despite the country have been developing and implementing projects, there was need to harmonize the implementation.
Mr. Mulusa cited the road infrastructure program where he observed that even though the government was doing an exceptional job in road construction, most road were social roads not linked to key development areas and objectives such as agricultural production and tourim
The Minster noted that the Ministry of National Development Planning will ensure that economically beneficial plans will be implemented.
The ministers were welcomed by chargé d’affaires at the Zambian Embassy Joseph Chilaizya.
The Zambian delegation includes Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Dr Ronald Simwinga, Ministry of National Planning Permanent Secretary Dr Sr Auxilia Ponga, and Bank of Zambia Governor Dr Denny Kalyalya.