IMF ‘bailout’ programme welcome-Economist

Sat, 08 Oct 2016 12:19:13 +0000

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme is long overdue as it will address many economic issues which include putting in place a proper infrastructure programme strategy, says economist Noel Nkhoma.

Mr Nkhoma said in an interview that the infrastructure agenda which Government had embarked on needed a new strategy which the IMF programme would put in place once the fund was finalised.

“I think that the IMF programme is long overdue, but I also think that we all understand the state of the economy and in the last five years I think the PF government has strongly pushed the infrastructure agenda,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Vice-President Ms Inonge Wina toid Parliament yesterday that Government had not yet engaged the IMF on the prospects of an economic bail out, saying that the nation would be kept informed about the development.

Mr Nkhoma explained that the infrastructure agenda was supposed to be realigned with national planning.

“In as far as the national planning is concerned, it is important to realign the infrastructure ambitions of the Government and when the IMF comes, they will put up these measure quickly.

“I see a situation where first of all, the infrastructure agenda will be properly planned depending on whether we have the resources, but most important also is to be able to probably slow down on infrastructure and begin to come up with a strategy in terms of how you maintain this infrastructure,” he said.

Mr Nkhoma further predicted a shift in Government policy due to alignment of the infrastructure agenda.

He also said there was need to promote financial inclusion while providing necessary financial interventions.

“Financial inclusion can only grow if the money in circulation is able to provide necessary financial interventions but it is not happening which means that we have an underground economy which is undermining the broader economy, so I think that has to be addressed,” he said.

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