Stop Borrowing -Govt told
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has urged Government to maintain its current debt levels without further massive borrowing from international markets.
JCTR media and information officer Tendai Posiana said reduction in copper prices and reduced productivity of the country due to load shedding, would adversely affect the country’s Gross Domestic Product, to which the current debt level sustainability was tied to.
Ms Posiana said the environment that prevailed in the year 2015 was one of uncertainty, with a nation-wide load shedding that had contributed negatively to the livelihood of the Zambian citizens.
She said the depreciation of the Kwacha against major currencies should be brought back to normal through strengthening of internal markets and manufacturing, which was key.
Mr Posiana said there should be a deliberate effort to improve and diversify the energy sector to encourage efficiency.
And Ms Posiana said Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) should also take keen interest in the Forestry Department to ensure that the rampant cutting down of trees due to the increased charcoal demand was regulated and managed. She said the adverse effect on productivity caused by the power outages could not be overemphasised.
Ms Posiana hoped that the macro and micro economic situation in Zambia would stabilize in the coming months and that Government would learn from the current power crisis and set plans for Zambia’s growth and development.
She revealed that the JCTR survey in the August Basic Needs Basket for Lusaka stood at K3, 659.92, with other important increases in the cost of food items such as that of mealie meal which increased by 8 percent from an average unit cost of K63.43 to K68.57 per 25kg bag.
“It is also noted that Chipata and Chinsali at the end of August had the highest costs of mealie meal at K81 and K80 respectively, while places such as Mongu and Ndola had prices ranging around K70,” Ms Posiana said.