Ndola District Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NDCCI) President Paul Chisunka has said a multi-sectoral approach is needed to tackle economic challenges affecting Zambia amid the high cost of living and high cost of doing business.
The increase in fuel pump prices effected last week by a margin of around K4 has sparked debate among stakeholders.
Some people have gone on to accuse the Government of failing to manage the local economy properly owing to increased fuel prices.
But Mr. Chisunka said stakeholders must resist the urge to point fingers but must rather focus on designing well thought out appropriate solutions to economic challenges.
He has called for enhanced joint efforts from the Government, private sector, cooperating partners, civil society to overcome economic challenges Zambia was currently grappling with.
Mr. Chisunka said there is a need to use resources and intellectual abilities to change and improve business and create jobs for Zambians.
He called for a quick enforcement of the Single Licensing regime in all sectors, rolling out legal Instruments and even presidential decrees to give temporal trade moratoriums.
Mr. Chisunka further advocated suspension of duties on selective imports, and introduction of amnesties on tax and penalties to increase capital employed.
He also appealed to financial institutions like banks to work on reducing transaction costs and provide loans at reduced rates to help alleviate the economic situation.
Mr. Chisunka said the business community in Ndola wants the Government and the mines as the biggest buyers along with other large businesses to allocate the bulk of their local procurement to Zambian businesses and cooperatives.
“Mostly, due to high fuel prices and the dislocation of global trade, as a country we are experiencing an unusually high cost of living and doing business. But in times like these we must resist the urge to point fingers and rather focus on designing well thought out appropriate solutions. Government, private sector, cooperating partners, civil society – we need to stand together as a multi-sectoral unit committed to dealing with economic and social obstacles,” Mr. Chisunka said.
“Our resources and intellectual abilities should be applied to changing and improving what is within our power in terms of prioritising business and jobs for Zambians. The Single Licensing regime should be quickly enforced in all sectors and we need to urgently roll out legal Instruments and even presidential decrees to give temporal trade moratoriums, suspend duties on selective imports, and introduce amnesties on tax and penalties to increase capital employed and our collective output,” he said.
Mr. Chisunka said:”We appeal to our trusted banks to work on reducing transaction costs and provide loans at reduced rates to help alleviate the situation. The Government and the mines as the biggest buyers along with other large businesses should provide economic stimulus by allocating the bulk of their local procurement to Zambian businesses and cooperatives so that we can build instant liquidity and raise the purchasing power of households while keeping inflation in check.”