Govt projects growth above seven percent in 2015

GOVERNMENT has projected that Zambia would be able to post more than seven percent growth per annum from the year 2015 onwards and that the inflationary rate would be able to fall below six percent by the year 2017.

Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said this at a media briefing.

This was during the launch of the Green Paper which is the proposed 2015-17 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

Mr Yamba said the 2015 National Budget would see government initiate financing arrangements for local authorities so that they could be on a more secure financial footing.

He said Government was pledging its commitment to enhance inclusive growth and advance social justice so that all Zambians could benefit from the economic growth.

Mr Yamba said government was going to establish a Local Authority Equalisation Fund so that the local authorities could effectively provide local services such as waste management, street lighting and local markets with the hope of improving lives of citizens.

He said investment in major socioeconomic infrastructure would continue in 2015 by implementing structural reforms in an effort to diversify the economy and reduce the cost of doing business.

Mr Yamba said government would continue financing the provision of core social and economic programmes in health, education, agriculture and social protection sectors.

“The proposed 2015-17 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and draft policies drawn from it are premised on the government’s unwavering commitment to enhance inclusive growth and advance social justice so that all Zambians can benefit from the economic growth we are experiencing. The MTEF projects that growth will exceed seven percent per annum from 2015 onwards and that inflation will fall under six percent by 2017,” he said.

Mr Yamba said Government has however warned that the slowdown in the projected global economic growth would have adverse effects on the Zambian economy.

In the Green Paper, government said the dampening of world trade volumes and the likely downward trend in prices for commodities such as copper would negatively affect the growth of the country’s economic growth.

The Green Paper cautions that the rise in oil prices had the potential to adversely affect the cost of domestic production and would induce inflationary pressures.

The Green Paper warns of the risks the economy would be put through if government is not going to adhere to set fiscal policy objectives in the medium term which it said may potentially harm the general macroeconomic stability and objectives of the revised Second National Development Plan.

Other factors that could alter programmed targets include adverse weather conditions which the Green Paper says would have a disproportionate impact on agriculture especially for small scale farmers.