` BUDGET MUST OFFER STABILITY’
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE banking industry expects the 2022 national budget to be a stimulus budget focusing on measures which will protect households, businesses and ensuring financial sector stability.
This is expected to be done through the proposed economic recovery plan, says Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ) Public Relations and Administrative Officer, Mirriam Zimba.
Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, is this month expected to present the 2022 national budget.
“The budget should highlight measures which will help to stabilise the exchange rate, inflation and accelerate external debt relief and restructuring efforts to unlock resources which are required to stimulate economic activities to support an economic recovery path,” Ms Zimba said in response to a press query.
Over the years, she said, BAZ had cultivated a cordial relationship with the Government.
Ms Zimba indicated that BAZ would continue to engage with the Government through its usual channels of engagement for more detailed expectations, to avoid pre-emptying earlier submission to the Government through the Ministry of Finance.
She further said BAZ expected that the 2022 Budget would provide measures which allowed benefits and exemption of customs duty on ATMs, Point of Sale machines to increase self service channels to achieve the broader financial inclusion agenda.
She acknowledged that President Hakainde Hichilema’s emphasis on the need to enhance the provision of financial services for the Zambian people, would in turn attract investment into the economy.
The President indicated that Government will introduce legislation to widen the scope and lower the cost of financial services.
The President also stated that Government will create an enabling environment that facilitates the growth of the financial sector and evolution towards a digital economy. This is what forms our expectation as a sector,” Ms Zimba said.