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FINANCE MINISTER SITUMBEKO MUSOKOTWANE SAYS IF FUEL PRICES ON INTERNATIONAL MARKET AND IN THE SUPPLY CHAINS INCREASES GOVT WILL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT INCREASE FUEL PRICES

He said government was currently spending over US$67 million per month and over US$809 Million per year on petroleum products at the expense of other social sector needs.

The finance minister said this at a joint briefing with IMF mission chief to Zambia Allison Holland held via Skype.

He said there would be no fuel subsidy in the 2022 budget.

He said this was a conscious choice governmnet needed to take.

He said the previous governmnet froze increaments of fuel prices due to fear of losing elections but that this has left governmnet indebted from their failure to pay.

Dr Musokotwane said that the increament of fuel prices and electricity tarrifs was certain but that his governmnet had human beings who were considerate.

He said there was no need for Zambians to be scared because governmnet would try to moderate the increaments.

He said once government shifts costs of fuel to motorists’ tanks, the said money would be channelled to social sector needs like building more schools.

Asked why the governmnet had increased huge tax concessions on mines when it could maximise revenue from mines, Dr Musokotwane agreed that government will lose US$ 182 Millon per year as a result of tax concessions but that this was not adequate compared to what governmnent would benefit from.

The finance minister said tax concessions would increase production and earn more revenues from the mining sector

And IMF mission chief to Zambia Allison Holland said the commitment by government to restoring fiscal sustainability was a key part of the IMF deal.

Details in tomorrow’s edition of the The Daily Nation Newspaper

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dailynationepaper

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