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PMRC advises Govt on expenditure controls

SIMON MUNTEMBA writes

@SunZambian

GOVERNMENT should roll out the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) to all ministries, provinces, departments and agencies to ensure that no expenditure occurs outside the system, the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has advised.

Bernadette Zulu, a PMRC executive director said the domestic debt stock at the end of March 2019 was K58.21 billion (representing 21 percent of GDP).

Mrs Zulu anticipated that in 2019 economy growth will slow due to adverse weather conditions negatively impacting agriculture production and the energy sector.

Mrs Zulu who noted with concern the recent depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha against US Dollar said there was also need for Government to put in measures that guarantee stable exchange rates to hedge against rising interest payments on sovereign debt.

“Government should put in mitigation measures to reduce impact of adverse weather conditions in the Agriculture and Energy Sectors and the consequential negative impact on the GDP.

“PMRC further encourages Government to roll out the IFMIS to all Government Ministries, Provinces, Departments and Agencies to ensure that no expenditure occurs outside the system,” Mrs Zulu said.

She further implored Government to continue providing an enabling environment for increased investment in renewable energy and adoption of climate smart agricultural practices.

Mrs Zulu, however, said inflation over the first four months of 2019 remained within the target band of 6-8 percent with an average of 7.7 percent from an average of 8.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Reserves position at the end of February 2019, she said, was US $1.43 billion (1.6 months import cover) from US $1.56 million (1.8 months of import cover) at the end of 2018.

She said the revenue side in the first quarter of 2019, domestic revenues stood at K14.99 billion representing a 4.4 percent margin above the target.

Mrs Zulu said the expenditure side domestically financed expenditure amounted k12.8 billion, representing a margin of 11.5 percent below target projection.

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