The Government must resign for gross fiscal irresponsibility which has resulted in a request for authority to increase borrowing limits, former Solwezi Member of Parliament n Lucky Mulusa has said.
This follows a motion in Parliament made by Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda requesting Parliament to approve an increase in the borrowing limit for Government.
Mulusa said the motion showed desperate measures emanating from fiscal indiscipline fueled by lack of a cohesive development agenda that can be managed with milestones and logical steps followed in project management.” We are doomed!” he said.
And opposition members of parliament have lambasted Government for irresponsible expenditure and have vowed to oppose the motion “ to the bitter end”.
Mwandi MMD Member of Parliament Dr. Michael Kaiungu said, yesterday was the “ saddest day” in Zambia’s history
Leading the assault, Monze Central UPND M.P. Jack Mwiimbu said it was incomprehensible that at a time when the Kwacha was melting like butter the government wanted to increase the debt thresholds to hide and cushion irresponsible expenditure which was manifesting by government’s failure to pay contractors.
It was irresponsible he said for the government to embark on massive projects including numerous by-elections when there was no money. An increase in the debt as proposed by government, he said, would cloud out small business men from bank credit, while increasing government irresponsibility.
The country, he said, had just moved out of debt crisis negotiated by the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy and it appeared the PF government was determined to get back to the highly indebted status from which the country had emerged.
And Mwandi M.P., Michael Kaingu described Friday as the saddest day for Zambia, in which a distress call should be recorded because Zambia was destined to be plunged into economic crisis. The government, he explained had failed to raise money from taxes to sustain its unbudgeted and unplanned projects and was now intending to burden the people of Zambia with debt.
In his presentation to Parliament Mr. Chikwanda proposed to increase the debt limit in four categories from K200 million to K13 billion, K10 million to K20 billion, K200 million to K2 billion and K2billion to K5 billion.
Luena M.P. Getrude Mwambwa Imenda said that it was incredible that government could want to increasing borrowing in one case by more than 200,000 percent. “This is just incredible and does not make sense at this age and time when we expected government to be prudent.
In proposing the motion the Minister, Mr. Chikwanda, said that there was need to regularize borrowing and ensure that government met the thresholds unlike in the past when previous government had completely disregarded the limits. He said that by 2011, the previous government had exceeded limits in all the sectors, but as a responsible government they wanted parliament to establish and thereafter ensure enforcement of the limits.
But Jack Mwiimbu dismissed the argument stating that the government had already borrowed heavily on the international market and any attempt now to borrow from the local market would have implications on the local business by pushing up inflation, thereafter increasing interest rates and finally putting credit beyond the ordinary Zambian entrepreneur. He charged that when government removed subsidies it was with the intention of investing the proceeds in more productive areas, but this was not the case as Zambians have been forced to brace for higher costs and the prospects of government increased debt would impact on them even further.