‘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.
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