Govt readies for shocks in the economy – Chikwanda

GOVERNMENT has launched a number of fiscal and monetary interventions aimed at responding to the shocks in the economy, says Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda.

Mr Chikwanda said some of the interventions include review of fuel subsidies and procurement process as well as appraisal of electricity tariffs to improve investment in the sector.

The minister was speaking yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on IMF Group 1 constituency executive director, Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, at the IMF headquarters in Washington DC.

He took time to explain the measures that Government had initiated to manage the shocks in the economy.

This was in response to Ms. Kapwepwe who informed the minister that the IMF was keen to learn what measures the Zambian Government was taking to respond to the shocks in the economy.

Mr Chikwanda explained that programmes had been put in place to diversify the economy by making agriculture the mainstay of the economy.

He said that climate change had resulted in erratic rainfall patterns affecting the development of the sector, especially the

 

irrigation system because ground water was depleted.

There was, however, need to take stock of agriculture activities in order to come up with comprehensive programmes to revitalise the  sector.

“Government had embarked on a number of interventions from both the fiscal and monetary sides including the review of fuel subsidies and procurement processes, review of electricity tariffs to improve investment in the sector and reduce Government spending as measures to respond to the shocks in the economy,” said Mr Chikwanda

On the appreciation of the Kwacha during the last two weeks, Mr Chikwanda attributed the development to the interventions on the monetary side of the economy.

He explained that there had been a lot of speculation prior to the assurances from the mining sector of continued mining activities.

Mr Chikwanda also paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s outgoing Ambassador to the United States Palan Mulonda at the Zambian Embassy in Washington.

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