- The 2020-2023 Economic Recovery Programme will propose measures that could drive Zambia's economic recovery beyond Covid-19, says Finance Minister, Dr Bwalya Ng'andu.
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu will in the next few weeks unveil a three-year Economic Recovery Programme which proposes measures to stimulate the economy beyond Covid-19, as Government depends on the banking system for a resilient domestic economy.
The 2020-2023 Economic Recovery Programme will propose measures that could drive Zambia’s economic recovery beyond Covid-19, says Finance Minister, Dr Bwalya Ng’andu.
Dr Ng’andu said the programme to be launched by the President in the coming few weeks was partly a policy response to the challenges that had been brought about by Covid-19.
He was speaking on Friday evening at the 2020 Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) and business gala dinner held under the theme “Building a Resilient Economy Post Covid-19.”
“I trust that the launching of this programme will not just attract personal interest but will be used as a document fromt which we can tap into as we seek to grow this economy in the next three years. It is a document that contains most of the issues that you want to be addressed
“The future of our economy will not be served by how much we are captivated by the pandemic influence. It will be served by our resolve and commitment to build a strong economy that we are proud of,” Dr Ng’andu said.
He also observed the need to reform the banking system so that Zambian banks were strengthened to the level of first tier banks for implementation of development policies and depend on to build a resilient domestic economy
“An important lesson to the pandemic is that we are extremely vulnerable to any disruptions in the value chains from the south of this country. This is an illness which we can cure by doing more of what we have,” Dr Ng’andu said.
EAZ president, Lubinda Haabazoka, expressed concern at the performance of the some of the macroeconomics such as the Kwacha.
“We as EAZ would like to express our concern over the following issues. The depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha, increase in inflation rate and the high cost of doing business especially for Zambian citizens that are trading in malls as rentals are charged in dollars.
“We are also concerned about the fiscal burden being imposed on businesses, the high number of payroll taxes, among other challenges,” Dr Haabazoka said.
Dr Haabazoka also said the theme for this year had been influenced by the Covid-19.
He commended Government for the measures put in place to ensure the economy stayed afloat, saying EAZ fully supported the measures put in place so far.