By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
MARKET players should not take advantage of small and unsophisticated consumers of various goods and services by unjustifiably increasing food prices, says the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ).
EAZ Deputy Secretary Rita Mkandawire said the association had observed that certain economic players had been adjusting prices not commensurate to the increase in the cost of importation or production of certain goods and services.
“While we understand that profit is the main aim for businesses, we would like to call upon all market players not to take advantage of our small and unsophisticated consumers of various goods and services,” Ms Mkandawire said in a statement.
She urged the private and public sectors to enhance productivity aimed at growing national income and wealth amid the Covid-19 induced economic slowdown and economic uncertainty.
Ms Mkandawire also urged the government to escalate implementation of its Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) to ensure that the Kwacha stabilises and inflation contained.
“We would like to note the limited positive impact that high metals prices have had on foreign exchange reserves, the value of the Zambian Kwacha, business and job creation, especially on the Copperbelt Province.
“We advise relevant authorities to audit the value chain to see why there is little trickle down to Zambian suppliers and the economy in general,” she said.
Ms Mkandawire pointed out one area of concern that had been frustrating the implementation of various government policies and projects which was employee motivation.
She explained that there was a need for Government to ascertain the levels of employee motivation as it negatively affects productivity. Victimisation, discrimination, politics were to blame for low productivity levels, especially in government grant-aided institutions.
“We call upon Government to act accordingly to ensure that such vices discontinue. The government needs to achieve a turnaround for all grant aided institutions to wean them of government dependency.
“This will reduce the cost of running the public service. A turnaround of institutions will need participation from all citizens regardless of political affiliation, tribe or race,” Ms Mkandawire said.