Govt gets fiscal management tips

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

ZAMBIA can create fiscal space by securing confidence in the market thereby allowing Government to provide resources for public purposes without undermining economic sustainability.

This is according to Civil Society Poverty Observation Group and Zambia Tax Platform representative, Patrick Nshindano.

Mr Nshindano said the Zambia’s fiscal position had continued to deteriorate due to various challenges despite recording a relative marginal rebound in the economy.

Challenges, he said, included increasing debt, power deficit, slump in copper prices and volatile Kwacha.

Mr Nshindano said securing the confidence in the international market could also lower the cost of refinancing debt.

Various stakeholders including Government have proposed the refinancing of the Eurobond using private equity with Zambia’s external debt standing at US$10.17 billion at the end of the first quarter.

Mr Nshindano said this at a stakeholders meeting in a presentation dubbed ‘state of the economy’ on Friday last week.

 “We need to structure a financing option that supports social protection but also accommodates fiscal consolidation oversight.

“Improve transparency with regard to the Chinese pipeline debt to help install more confidence in the market,” he said.

Mr Nshindano said Government also needed to put the budget on an even footing to halt the accrual debt.

This, he said, would promote private sector led growth to provide insulation against external shocks.

He said Zambia would not be able to resist external shock while becoming vulnerable to capital flight if most of the capital was owned by foreigners.

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