Zambia : stable economic outlook as the government shows satisfaction

Zambian President Edgar Lungu participates in a discussion at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 meeting in Durban, South Africa May 4, 2017. Photo : REUTERS

NEWSROOM (ADV) – The Zambian government said on Monday that austerity measures embarked by the government to try to reign in on excessive expenditure have started bearing fruits.

Early this year, the government announced austerity measures aimed at bringing the country on a sustainable debt trajectory, improve fiscal position and entrench macroeconomic stability.

Among the measures include cancellation of some of the currently contracted loans that were yet to be disbursed to reduce the debt service outlays, removal of some consumption subsidies, cut down on the cost of running the government by reducing expenditures on both local and foreign travels, among others.

Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe said Monday that reforms related to the removal of consumption subsidies and the austerity measures are now bearing fruits as seen by the timely releases of funds to productive sectors of the economy such as agriculture, education and health.

She said in a release that this is the first time that the government has not lagged behind in releasing resources to the Constituency Development Fund, a fund meant to help lawmakers implement various projects in their respective constituencies.

She called on government ministries and departments to remain instrumental in actualizing President Edgar Lungu’s vision of developing the country by ensuring that there is prudence in the management and utilization of public resources at all times.

According to her, the Ministry of Finance released a total of 4.8 billion Zambian kwacha (about 400 million U.S. dollars) last month to finance public service operations and sustain service delivery.

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