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Alba Iulia
Thursday, August 13, 2020

Felix Mutati says that the IMF nodded Zambia’s improved Economic Outlook

Headlines Felix Mutati says that the IMF nodded Zambia’s improved Economic Outlook

Finance Minister Felix Mutati with Caleb Fundanga in Wahshington
Finance Minister Felix Mutati with Caleb Fundanga in Wahshington
Finance Minister Felix Mutati says the 2018 National Budget has ably addressed concerns raised by the Executive Board of International Monetary Fund (IMF’s). He says Government this year embarked on an economic journey to restore fiscal fitness whose results have changed the outlook of the country’s economy.

The Finance Minister noted that since 2015 the IMF has produced Article IV Consultation with Zambia where they have acknowledged the critical reforms that government undertook in 2017 in the energy and agriculture sectors and the overall policy direction for the country. Article IV of the IMF is an instrument that governs the fund in providing guidance on the economic outlook of member countries.
 
Mr. Mutati explained that the Article basically outlines an assessment undertaken by the Fund in June this year, and offers guidance on issues Zambia must focus on going forward.  He said Zambia has held specific conversations to secure a programme with the IMF. Mr. Mutati was said this in an interview soon upon arrival at the on-going IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington.
 
Last Friday, the Executive Board concluded Article IV consultation with Zambia at which they said that the near-term outlook for the Zambian economy has improved in recent months, driven by good rain and rising world copper price. However, Mr. Mutati says of importance to government is to address some of the issues Article IV has pointed out such as debt elevation, fiscal consolidation, and revenue mobilization. He, however, said most of these matters have already been addressed in the 2018 budget.

According to the Article: “The economy was in near-crisis from the fourth quarter of 2015 through most of 2016, reflecting the impacts of exogenous shocks and lax fiscal policy in the lead up to general elections. Low copper prices reduced export earnings and government revenues, while poor rainfall in the catchment areas of hydro-power reservoirs led to a marked reduction in electricity generation and severe power rationing.” The report also cites rising public debt at an unsustainable pace, which has crowded lending to the private sector and increased the vulnerability of the economy.

The IMF has commended recent improvements in Zambia’s economic outlook and has advised the authorities to take advantage of current favourable conditions and implement decisive and prudent macroeconomic policies. These include reforms to place public finances and debt on a sustainable path, build international reserves, increase the economy’s resilience to shocks, and achieve higher and inclusive growth. In this regard, they have welcomed the launch of Zambia’s Economic Stabilization and Growth Program and the Seventh National Development Plan.

“We aim to balance growth and prioritize infrastructure development with debt sustainability. This means that as we grow infrastructure we don’t continue to endanger our debt sustainability to high distress levels,” said Mr. Mutati, adding that “between now and the medium-term, government will focus on bringing debt down.”
 
He said the Government has so far developed a debt management strategy to serve as an important tool in guiding decision making with regard to prudent debt management.
 
The Minister also said the 2018 national budget is focused on reducing fiscal deficit to 6.1 percent. Mr. Mutati said Government to this effect has reformed legislation and is focusing on accelerating the management of systems in the coming year, to assist in fiscal consolidation. On domestic resource mobilization, the Finance Minister says Government has underscored the modernization of the Zambia Revenue Authority, including benchmarking its performance. The specific areas of modernization mentioned are automation, information technology, customer service, taxpayer education and enforcement. This he said also includes other government revenue collecting agencies.
 
He said the annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and IMF, bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, parliamentarians, the private sector, civil society organizations and academicians to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. Zambia and the IMF also meet annually as a requirement to assess the global outlook on economic stability and growth.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Semantics and jargon Mr. minister.

    The problems Zambia is facing are very real. You can spin the truth as much as you want, but you need to address the root causes such as corruption, and borrowing money which disappears, and can only be seen when you people start building those classless houses mushrooming everywhere in Lusaka.

    We have had enough!!!!

    #bringbackourmoney.

    • Tell a nation which has developed from imf assistance. These maroons are just upto milking the male cows where ever they go. Zambia would do well by ignoring them.

    • Basically… the only reason things are looking brighter is better rainfall and higher copper prices. All other measures to increase revenue is for more money in your personal pockets. Just as your traffic officers do, so do you.

  2. On such good news,upnd cadres wont comment in large numbers because few days ago they were very happy when fake news proposed an end to Zambia’s IMF bailout packege!!!
    See now fi upnd,so negotiations are still on between Zambia and IMF!!!
    2021 is solid 4 yrs from now so you shall talk,talk and talk until you talk no more.4 yrs is about 1 460 days.how many useless press conferences and press briefings will HH address?kikikikikiki.MUKOSE!!
    COME 2021 NI PF NAFUTI NAFUTI!!!

  3. The boat is slowly sinking as the case maybe but to the doubting bloggers like mushota he will only see reality when the prices of commodities start rising.

  4. this is all bullsheet frist get u r judesrystright where have u seen in the world a case judjment is not given for last 12 years and when v ask the judje she say c will give and bring back all those people who r deportes for no reson than IMF will see

  5. I agree that of is not developed root to recover but adding debt already burdened economy. What is it that had been done out of eurobonds that were borrowed. Mr.minister remember that pf has no policy in an area of the economy to sell to the people hence the confusion.Yousy OK but working with team people without policy directiom

    • The thing you should note is that Felix thinks he is a new Finance Minister in a new govt…he will one day turn around and say it was an utter mess when he got the job.

  6. ..self praise..do you expect the contrary from FM..??,,how can anyone with economic background look at Zambian economy as bright, improving when we are drowning in debts,,??..ofcourse it has tremendously improved in politician’s personal accounts…

  7. Mutati is like a drowning man clutching at straws to save his life. Why not tell us the Zambians the truth about the IMF s reply to our begging. You were given conditions by them that you have failed to meet and instead you are killing us and our children with high taxes and debts that even our great grand children will be paying back with your misuse of funds. Do something decent and honourable sir before your time ends and tell us the truth.

  8. Ati “we have developed a debt management strategy”
    with all the foreign travels by the PF inc ECL how do you achieve this?
    NEVER..NEVER can this be possible!

Comments are closed.

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