‘Zam­bia, IMF talks promis­ing’

THE up­com­ing en­gage­ment be­tween Govern­ment and the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) will re­sult in a pos­i­tive out­come, the Pol­icy Mon­i­tor­ing and Re­search Cen­tre (PMRC) has said.

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By BUSI­NESS REPORTER

We have been sub­mit­ting to Govern­ment to pur­sue the IMF bailout pro­gramme for bal­ance of pay­ment sup­port for as long as the bailout terms and con­di­tions are favourable to all Zam­bians by con­sol­i­dat­ing growth. — PMRC.

PMRC is pleased that the World Bank has pledged more sup­port to­wards Zam­bia par­tic­u­larly with tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise and sup­port in re­struc­tur­ing Chi­nese con­ces­sional loans. The or­gan­i­sa­tion was com­ment­ing on the high level talks that Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu with the World Bank’s Dr Hafez Ghanem. Lua­pula Expo In­vestors and key Govern­ment of­fi­cials were also present dur­ing the talks at State House re­cently on fun­da­men­tal is­sues per­tain­ing to the coun­try. “The im­por­tance of IMF pack­age to Zam­bia can­not be overem­pha­sized and as is the re­quire­ment of a home­grown eco­nomic re­cov­ery plan, Zam­bia scored a first by de­vel­op­ing the Eco­nomic Sta­bi­liza­tion and Growth Pro­gramme [ESGP]. “PMRC’s rec­om­men­da­tion is that the IMF bailout pol­icy that fo­cuses on mea­sures such as eco­nomic ad­just­ments, aus­ter­i­ties and con­sol­i­da­tion of the fis­cal po­si­tion should be pri­ori­tised,” PMRC stated. The cen­tre said Govern­ment should pur­sue the IMF bailout pro­gramme for bal­ance of pay­ment sup­port as long as the bailout terms and con­di­tions were favourable to all Zam­bians. “We are aware that Govern­ment is cur­rently un­der­tak­ing mea­sures to rein in on fis­cal slip­pages and risks re­lated to debt. The Govern­ment is fur­ther work­ing on the Eco­nomic Sta­bi­liza­tion and Growth Plan, which is a spring­board in our con­tin­ued dis­cus­sions with the IMF and this should also be premised in the up­com­ing dis­cus­sions with the IMF next month,” PMRC said in a doc­u­ment. IMF pack­age, PMRC noted, would fur­ther com­pli­ment the Govern­ment through tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance on fis­cal man­age­ment as well as of­fer ex­ter­nal ac­count­abil­ity of fis­cal and growth poli­cies. “We have been sub­mit­ting to Govern­ment to pur­sue the IMF bailout pro­gramme for bal­ance of pay­ment sup­port for as long as the bailout terms and con­di­tions are favourable to all Zam­bians by con­sol­i­dat­ing growth. “As a mat­ter of fact, The IMF presents af­ford­able fi­nance and is sig­nif­i­cantly more af­ford­able than com­mer­cial bor­row­ing from do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets and thus PMRC en­cour­ages the Govern­ment to con­tinue pe­rus­ing an IMF pack­age that com­ple­ments our home grown Eco­nomic Sta­bi­liza­tion and Growth Pro­gramme [ESGP],” PMRC said.

Pres­i­dent Lungu with part of the crowd at the memorial for the late Pres­i­dent Michael Sata. - Pic­ture By MICHAEL MIYOBA

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