BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
GOVERNEMENT has applied for debt treatment under the Group of 20 (G20) the Common Framework which will facilitate Zambia’s engagement with all G20 and Paris Club creditors.
This reassures commercial creditors and encourages them to join the restructuring process.
Finance Minister, Bwalya Ng’andu, expressed confidence that debt treatment under the G20 Common Framework would help address Zambia’s challenges and support the country’s economic and financial recovery in the long term.
Dr Ng’andu, in a statement, stressed that returning to sustainable debt levels was a national priority for Zambia.
‘’Zambia is committed to transparency and equal treatment of all creditors in the restructuring process, and our application to benefit from the G20 Common Framework will hopefully reassure all creditors of our commitment to such treatment,” he said.
Secretary to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba, said Government had officially requested a debt treatment under the Common Framework agreed by the G20 major economies and the Paris Club in November last year.
Mr Yamba explained that the all G20 and Paris Club creditors were expected to coordinate their engagement with Zambia under the Common Framework with the objective of providing debt relief to the country.
He said the newly adopted common framework for debt treatment beyond the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) is designed to facilitate timely and orderly debt treatment with broad creditor participation for DSSl-eligible countries.
“The framework has been endorsed by the G20 and the Paris Club as part of a global response to the Covid-19 crisis in recognition that the short-term liquidity relief and fiscal space created by the DSSI will not, in all cases, be sufficient to address the significant public debt challenges some countries are facing,” he said.
Mr Yamba said debt treatment under the Common Framework, would be based on the conclusion of the Debt Sustainability Analysis.
He said was being prepared in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the context of International Monetary Fund programme discussions scheduled from February 11th 2021 to March 3rd 2021.
To stabilise the economy severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic Zambia launched its Economic Recovery Plan 2020 – 2023 in December 2020 and will begin formal talks with the IMF on 11 February 2021 to negotiate an Extended Credit Facility programme.