Tue, 30 Jan 2018 15:15:51 +0000
By LINDA SOKO TEMBO
THE rating agency Moody’s upgrading of Zambia’s economic outlook from negative to stable is indicative of Zambia’s economic ability to rise again, Party of National Unity (PNU) president Highvie Hamududu has said.
Mr Hamududu said the growth and stabilisation plan should continue especially on expenditure reforms beyond just the removal of electricity and fuel subsidies.
He was commenting on the rating action statement issued in London by Moody’s Investment Service stating “the stable outlook reflects the Zambian government’s reduction in liquidity pressures and a slowdown in debt accumulation”.
Mr Hamududu however said that the authorities should be warned not to busk in false hope that the storm was over, adding that it was far from being over and that the growth and stabilisation plan must continue.
“Especially on expenditure, reforms must go beyond just the removal of electricity and fuel subsidies” he said.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Hamududu said the fiscal path must lead to access of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) package as quickly as possible.
He added that the current stable economic outlook was driven by large, external developments pushing up copper prices.
He said with copper prices on the upswing, Government should deepen fiscal consolidation and eventual accessibility of the IMF package for balance of payments support. “Our economy can truly come back on the right track.
“This must be done at all costs, it is a matter of life and death. There are still low hanging fruits in expenditure reforms to provide a corrective fiscal space to deal with urgent matters such as rolling back the national debt and allocating resources to sectors and programmes that have the highest impact on poverty and all-inclusive growth,” he said.
Mr Hamududu said that the parastatals on the other hand should be leveraged to boost foreign direct investment through divestitures, adding that no parastatal should feed from the Treasury anymore and must declare acceptable returns to justify their existence.
Mr Hamududu said Government should make tough decisions before it is caught in the left foot as time was slowly expiring, adding that they want to see a better economy and improved service delivery.