GOVERNMENT is committed to maintain a stable macroeconomic environment and will continue to maintain a conducive environment that supports private sector -led growth favorable for both local and foreign investment, says Deputy Minister of Finance Christopher Mvunga.
He said this yesterday in Serenje district where he officiated at the launch of the opening of Indo Zambia bank.
Mr Mvunga said Government would on the monetary side continue exercising prudence in the deployment of monetary instruments to ensure that the National reserves are not depleted in an effort to prop up the currency.
Mr Mvunga said the National reserves still remains at a of US 2.97 billion or 3.8 months of import cover, a rate that is above the holdings of some peer countries.
He further said Government would continue to ensure a prudent fiscal policy stance and contraction of debt will, as has been in the past, be controlled and limited to infrastructure related projects that give impetus to future economic growth.
“As a demonstration of this commitment, government through the President has already announced spending reduction measures that are meant to rebalance the economy in these difficult economic imperatives. We are engaging the mining companies to consider different options of dealing with the current challenges as to put in place consistent and predictable tax and investment policies for the mining sector,” Mr Mvunga said.
He said Indo Zambia Bank is collaborating with government in implementing initiatives of national significance, such as revenue collection and provision of services under government programmes such as the farmer input support programme and the seasonal Food Reserve agency ( FRA) crop marketing programme.
Mr Mvunga urged the business fraternity and the residents of Serenje and the neighboring district of Chitambo to take advantage of the support and services offered to increase their participation in the prevailing economic activities of the nation.
Speaking at the same function, Central Province Minister Davies Chisopa said the presence of a new bank in the district would accord the people an increased range of financial products and services which in turn will enhance competition leading to improved service delivery for the benefit of the people.
And Indo Zambia bank managing director Shankardas Gupta said the total business mix of the bank now stands in excess of K 3 billion with the bank’s total assets base standing in excess of K2.8 million. Mr Gupta said the bank had great confidence in the prospects of the economy on which basis they have continued to invest substantially in their network expansion programme.
He said Government’s investment in developing farming blocks in the district would lead to substantial agricultural production and economic activities in the area. And Board chairperson Ms Orlean Moyo said the bank’s strategy to support the agricultural sector was in line with government’s view to diversify the economy.
She said the strategy was to target the Small and Medium Size Enterprises ( SMEs) including the population in surrounding areas in order to support more people to enjoy access to quality and affordable financial services.
Ms Moyo revealed by the end of this month, the bank would have a total branch network of 32 spread across the country with a presence in all the 10 provinces.
The event was also attended by their Royal Highness, Chief Chitambo, Chief Kabamba and Chief Chibale as well as member of Parliament Philip Kosamu.