We’ll only borrow for economic value projects, says Mutati

GOVERNMENT will only borrow money to finance infrastructure that is relevant to the growth of Zambia’s economy, Finance Minister Felix Mutati has charged. And Mr Mutati has charged that going forward no minister would be allowed to spend outside the budget in order to promote budget credibility. Speaking when he addressed European Union Business Club conference yesterday, Mr Mutati said Government would only borrow for those things that were fit for the purpose. “So we are going to migrate infrastructure from undertaking projects that are nice to see to doing projects that are of economic value. “We shall borrow for projects that we will be able to measure. Projects that will bring back the money e.g Lusaka-Ndola road making it dual carriage road because we believe that if we put toll gates it will give us a return and that is what we are calling fit for purpose,” Mr Mutati said. He said all the roads were important but others were much more crucial to economic growth and that was the direction Government would undertake. “So we are only going to borrow if we can achieve a return,” he said. Mr Mutati also said Government wanted to bring back the Budget credibility because it was very important. He said Government would only spend money approved by Parliament. “We gather here to talk to each other and unless we talk to each other, you cannot make progress. “We must share wealth in partnership for our mutual benefits. Unless we share, we cannot all move forward,” he said. Mr Mutati said the economy could only be grown by the private sector, adding that Government’s responsibility was to serve the private sector and was available. “…On the expenditure side for fiscal fitness, we are going to take those decisions that had slowed us down particularly in 2016 “Addressing the issues of subsidies, we have taken some decisions and these are going to be very tough decisions because we need them in order to get the economy to move again,” Mr Mutati said. Meanwhile, EU ambassador to Zambia Alessandro Mariani said the EU development relations with Zambia would be further strengthened, adding that focus would be on key sectors such as agriculture, energy and governance with a strong engagement of the private sector. He said the EU was also considering developing a dedicated private sector development programme under the 11th European Development Fund. “By tackling the economic subjects from all sides, Zambia and European, public and private, I am sure we all will be able to make a meaningful contribution to Zambia’s further development and growth,” he said. And Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe told the EU Business Club conference that creating 1 million jobs as pronounced by the Head of State during the official opening of Parliament was feasible with the help of the private sector. Ms Mwanakatwe said the Patriotic Front was committed to supporting the private sector to invest in Zambia in order to promote job creation and poverty reduction. She said the Government would support value addition investment from the private sector. And Minister of Development Planning Lucky Mulusa told the conference that Government would start re-organising cities because most of them had no room for investment and expansion.

One thought on “We’ll only borrow for economic value projects, says Mutati

  1. Robust infrastructure development accelerates economic growth and employment creation. In the Education Sector, it correct to invest in a big way because 2 universities in 50 years is not capable of eliminating the deficit in skilled manpower. Hence, more public universities make economic sense at Short term. at Medium term and at Long Term. In the Health Sector, access without enough personnel and enough health facilities was also huge mistake. hence, more hospitals, more clinics and more health centers. As for the roads and bridges, they need to be approached as a complete system: good International Roads, good National Roads, good Provincial Roads, good District Roads, good Township Roads. Even the EU supported the robust infrastructure development program.

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