Economics Association of Zambia President Lubinda Haabazoka says there is need to start looking at an integrated approach towards national economic development.
Dr Haabazoka observed that Zambia has various agencies, regulators, institutions dealing in different sectors but all fishing from the same pond.
He suggested the creation of one agency that will carry out all these functions in a one stop fashion.
“Some taxes, fees, fines and other payments can be consolidated and collected by one agency that will reduce the cost of administration and compliance with such payments” Dr Haabazoka said.
He stated that this reduction can act as a relief to all stakeholders including households.
Dr Haabazoka further suggested that Zambia starts to seriously look at ways of protecting our local industries.
“We need to look at volatile and stable investors differently and treat them differently depending on their needs. The more companies we have, the more jobs we create,” he said
The EAZ President said there should be serious engagements between businesses and government.
“After meeting with over 50 business owners and CEOS in a short space of 6 months, I am even more convinced that policy should even be more informed by among others business entities,” he said.
“Because of too much politics in Zambia, some organisations that should represent different sectors seem to shy away from linking government with the business people they represent. Some organisations fear to be labelled pro government or pro opposition and in an attempt to appear neutral have abandoned their core functions. The negative impact of such actions is that various businesses have been cut of from interacting with policy makers,” he observed.
“The people in the beverages industry need protection from unscrupulous people making fake drinks and water and also from cheap imports. Those dealing in alcohol face illicit alcohol trade. Those in the steal industry need cheap electricity and those in the cement business should not be taxed the same as mining companies because the value addition process is different. Investors wishing to bring in huge sums of money need certain assurances and incentives. Zambian contractors ask for preferences so that money should remain in Zambia. Zambian manufactures want to be given priority in foreign super markets as opposed to now when South African suppliers are given preference.”
He said,”All these issues if looked upon as being heavily related can help speed up movement of resources and benefit above all Zambians.”
“No foreigners should be given contracts to import anything on behalf of government unless those foreigners fund those imports. We have enough Zambians (and I don’t mean only black Zambians. I mean Zambians of any race) who can do public works and do the supplying.”