Govt will not re-introduce capital controls, says Yamba

GOVERNMENT has no intentions whatsoever of re-introducing monetary controls, says Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba.

Mr Yamba said reports circulating and suggesting that Government was working on measures to introduce currency and capital controls were false.

He said the Government would stand by that assurance, and therefore had no intentions of re-introducing capital controls, or any other form, such as price controls.

“Recently, there has been misinformation in some sections of society that the Government of the Republic of Zambia is working on measures aimed at introducing currency and capital controls and also statements that the Government intends to introduce price controls.

“The Government would like to dispel these notions and subsequent statements as misleading and mere fabrications,” he said

Mr Yamba assured the public, the private sector and all other stakeholders that the Government remained committed to principles of a free market economy driven by the private sector with Government playing a role of facilitator and regulator.

He said that was in line with progressive and modern day economic management world-wide.

Mr Yamba said the Government was considering the introduction of currency regulations whose principal objective was to reinforce the Kwacha as legal tender in the nation.

“The other objective is to ensure effectiveness in the conduct of monetary policy whose principle purpose is price stability, a necessary condition for any economy to thrive,” he said.

He reminded the general public, business community and all stakeholders that SI 33 (Currency Regulations) and SI 55 (Balance of Payments Monitoring) of 2012 were revoked to allow for wider consultations across sections of the Zambian society.

He explained that after the revocation, the Government embarked on consultations with key interest groups, more importantly representatives of private sector entities and associations.

“I wish to inform the public that a lot of progress has been made with respect to consultations on currency regulations which President Edgar Chagwa Lungu made reference to in his press conference held on 26 November 2015,” he said.

Mr Yamba said the consultations focused on getting the views and suggestions from a cross section of stakeholders on what would be the ideal regulations required to enforce the Kwacha as legal tender without any disruption to business activities.

He said the Government fully recognised its responsibility of ensuring macroeconomic stability, and was strongly resolved in quickening the pace of fiscal consolidation and implementation of attendant measures as recently outlined by the Head of State.

He said the Government was firm in its commitment towards the goal as Zambia offered some of the best opportunities to investors and that should remain so over the long term.