The International Monetary Fund says that headway had been made in three weeks of talks over a programme for Zambia and discussions would continue, though a number of challenges remained.
“Significant progress has been made and discussions are expected to continue in the next few weeks, following additional technical work on the appropriate policy package,” the IMF said in a statement.
The IMF said work towards implementing fiscal reforms to correct large fiscal imbalances, ramping up revenues and improving governance was still needed, however.
In a separate statement on Thursday, Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu said government was committed to securing an IMF programme.
“We value the work we have embarked on with the IMF and will pursue our discussions on detailed policy measures to return our economy and public finances to a sustainable trajectory,” he said.
Below is the statement from the IMF
IMF Staff Completes Virtual Mission to Zambia
March 4, 2021
End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a mission to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board.
Discussions covered recent economic developments, the near-term macroeconomic challenges, and policy options to return Zambia to a sustainable macroeconomic position over the medium-term.
Significant progress has been made and discussions are expected to continue in the next few weeks, following additional technical work on the appropriate policy package.
Key challenges remain, including implementing fiscal reforms to correct current large fiscal imbalances; increasing fiscal revenues to provide the needed fiscal space to achieve development objectives; bolstering governance and the efficiency of the use of public resources, including through debt and expenditure transparency; halting the incurrence of domestic arrears; and ensuring that the social protection scheme is fully funded with timely payments.
Washington, DC: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by David Robinson held virtual meetings during February 11–March 3 to discuss the Government of Zambia’s request for support under the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility.
The discussions covered recent economic developments, the near-term macroeconomic challenges, and policy options to return Zambia to a sustainable macroeconomic position over the medium-term.
At the conclusion of the virtual discussions, Mr. Robinson issued the following statement:
“Macroeconomic and social outcomes deteriorated in 2020 as underlying macroeconomic imbalances were compounded by the COVID-19 shock. The economy is forecast to have contracted by 2.9 percent, while the exchange rate depreciated significantly, and inflation increased sharply. With a weak economy and increased spending—both on emergency COVID related needs as well as agricultural subsidies—the fiscal deficit widened further largely financed from domestic sources. The authorities chose not to adjust fuel prices or electricity tariffs in order to support the population and enterprises during the difficult economic downturn contributing to further increases in domestic arrears and adding to the burden on ZESCO, the state-owned electricity company. Zambia received support under the G20 Debt Service Standstill Initiative, which provides some debt relief in 2020 and the first half of 2021, but with debt already unsustainable prior to the COVID-19 shock, Zambia has sought a comprehensive debt treatment under the G-20 Common Framework.
“Broad agreement was reached on the nature and cause of the underlying macroeconomic imbalances. Resolving the macroeconomic challenges will require navigating the need to continue to support the population and the economy through the pandemic in a constrained fiscal environment, while setting the stage for a sustained recovery as the impact of COVID-19 eases and macroeconomic imbalances are resolved.
“The Economic Recovery Program lays out the government’s broad policy directions and discussions sought to map that strategy into more detailed policy steps. Key challenges that need to be addressed include: detailing the fiscal reform agenda to achieve the large and sustained fiscal consolidation needed to correct current fiscal imbalances; securing increased fiscal revenues to provide the fiscal space for government to meet its development objectives; bolstering governance and the efficiency of the use of public resources, including through debt and expenditure transparency; halting the incurrence of domestic arrears (including on fuel and in the electricity sector); and ensuring that the social protection scheme is fully funded with timely payments to protect lower income groups. The recent sharp increase in copper prices should also provide additional resources to help smooth the adjustment. Significant progress has been made and discussions are expected to continue in the next few weeks, following additional technical work on the appropriate policy package.
“IMF staff held meetings with Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu, Bank of Zambia Governor, Christopher Mvunga, senior government and Bank of Zambia officials, members of the Budget and Public Accounts Committees of Parliament, and other stakeholders.
“Staff express their gratitude to the Zambian authorities for the constructive, determined and frank engagement.”
IMF Communications Department
“Key challenges remain, including implementing fiscal reforms to correct current large fiscal imbalances; increasing fiscal revenues to provide the needed fiscal space to achieve development objectives; bolstering governance and the efficiency of the use of public resources, including through debt and expenditure transparency; halting the incurrence of domestic arrears; and ensuring that the social protection scheme is fully funded with timely payments.”
If someone can come here and say this is progress then they need their heads checking and dont understand what the words ” to correct large fiscal imbalances” stands for!!
This is like an alcoholic saying I have made progress at quitting drinking nowadays I just go to the bar to drink one two beers and a few shots of whiskey….really laughable!!
IMF is every troubled country’s last option, after the downgrades-meaning you can not borrow any more from legal institutions with lower rate interest offers-
So when the only place that does not mind about your tarnished credit record, is eager to lend you some money but at the same time they are pointing at your financial weaknesses and asking you to correct your own flaws, you beter listen quickly-otherwise you have no option.
Had you not tarnished your name, there would be other credible lending institutions willing to help you out. How else can you explain the money displays that are seen on a daily basis and yet you can not account for it as to the source.
“Key challenges remain”
And that guy in the picture who looks brutal from the IMF with a subtle smile, who is he? Can he give us money that one. Just asking
The IMF will not give lungu any money, atleast not before elections…..
They have heard our calls.
He will only pay his lawless thugs while other thugs run and extort money from people at bus stops and markets……
IMF is not sleeping as they are monitoring everything going in
The country including buying of
Helicopters and dishing out money.They are also waiting to see what happens in elections.
In other language they say we have made progress.
IMF is just being diplomatic. There is no basis for a Cash Bailout with a Govt which doesn’t understand how properly functioning Economies are managed. This Govt’s Fiscal and Monetary Policies are unsound. The Govt doesn’t understand the need for Constitutionalism, Rule of Law, Good Governance and respect for Human Rights. The outcome of the 2021 Elections will determine whether or not IMF will advance a Loan to the New Govt after August 12, 2021. A violent and disputed Election means that Zambia will kiss goodbye to an IMF Programme and access to IFIs Credit will be denied. An illegitimate Lungu Govt will probably be Sanctioned by the International Community. The writing is on the wall.
THE PICTURE SAYS IT ALL ??????
Moto – These morons think IMF are just in the hotel and going on safari enjoying themselves …they are talking to resident contacts like Chibamba and Economists plus numbers dont lie when someone says you face key challenges in fiscal discipline its not a compliment
The other day when I said that the imf needs Zambia more than we need them, a few of the non Zambian upnd diasporans went on a rant saying I was crazy. The article is clear in stating that the imf plan to continue engaging us and not thr other way round. It’s not us chasing them, so don’t you wonder why ? I will tell you. It’s because IMF cannot exist without borrowers and without the interest we pay them. It seems only dull upnd members moved to diaspora. Ala muli fikopo!
This photo speaks volumes; Its like your friend inviting you and your workmates to his restaurant and you are all very disappointed with the meal but have not told your friend who is just proud you are there. To add insult your friend calls his head chef to come and take a picture with you and your workmates to show him you appreciate his cooking but you are too embarrassed to decline.
The most classic adage regarding trolling is, “Don’t feed the trolls.” Trolls seek out emotional responses and find provocation amusing, so replying to them or attempting to debate them will only make them troll more. By ignoring a troll completely, they will likely become frustrated and go somewhere else on the internet.
You should try your best not to take anything trolls say seriously. No matter how poorly they behave, remember these people spend countless unproductive hours trying to make people mad. They’re not worth your time of day.
This one is clear: No money gentlemen. Full stop. Even Kaizer Zulu can understand this sure. No Mula. So the Kwacha will continue to go down till it hits about K50 by August. And then Zambians will vote well for Change. Whatever Change. Along as it’s change
Twende we are not desperate for money. If you open your dull head and read the article, you will see that it is the IMF who are chasing after us to borrow money because without our interest payment they cannot exist. Don’t be dull
As for tarino continue spamming this site and liking your own comment multiple times. Very sad hahaha. You like attention which unfortunately is coming to me.
TARINO COPY PASTES MANy TIMES CAUSE YOU ARE SO THICK AND IT NEEDS MULTIPLE ENTRIES TO SINK IN
YOU PROBABLY GOT SMASHED LAST NITE SO WHY ARE YOU POSTING AND MAKING A F**L OF YOUSELF AGAIN
IMF HELPING THIS GOVERNMENT IS A MORTAL SIN……… FOR ONE A VOCAL SPOKES PERSON HAS INDICATED WE DONT NEED YOU
BUT YOU NEED US >>>>>>>>> SO BUZZ OFF FOR THIS YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!>> THEN WE START AGAIN
SECONDLY YOU HELPING A GOVERNMENT THAT IS NOT REALLY HELPING THE PEOPLE THAT NEED THE HELP MOST
If you think things are bad today in Zambia, re-elect PF and you will. The truth is the IMF will never give money to Zambia as long as corrupt PF in government.
tikki how long are you going to lick tarino’s backside? if you think tarino will facilitate a visa for you to move to UK, you are mistaken because that f00l does not even have the correct papers to be there. why you think he never visits zambia? he knows once he leaves he will never be allowed back into uk.
KAIZER MY TIME HERE WILL BE SHORT THEN IM GONE DONT LIKE IT MUCH HERE
BUT THE OPOSITION NEEDS SUPPORT OH ALL OPPOSITION
AS FOR TARINO COULDNT CARE LESS WHERE HE IS OR WHO HE IS
ITS JUST I LIKE HIS POSTS AND HE SEEMS TO HAVE MORE INFORMATION THAN MOST ON HERE
ME A VISA KIKIKI
Tikki most of these upnd diasporans are illegal immigrants there abroad. I know some who are even seeking asylum after claiming that their lives are at risk if returned to Zambia because they are gay. That is how low some of these upnd thugs can get. Tikki I know your type, I am sure you are conning a 90 year old woman to move abroad.
THE TRUTH WILL BE REVIELED WHEN WE MEET ONE DAY UNFORUTNATELY IM IN LOCK DOWN
PLUS OTHER ISSUES THE DAY WILL COME JUST WHEN I DONT KNOW >>
HAVE YOU HEARD OF DUAL PASSPORTS ?????? YES A ZAMBIAN WITH A DUAL PASSPORT
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