BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
GOVERNMENT should immediately commence with a post Covid-19 economic recovery programme to restore macroeconomic stability and encourage growth in the economy.
This is according to the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) Head of Policy Research and Analysis, Salim Kaunda.
Mr Kaunda said there was an opportunity to build from the Zambia Plus and other instruments such as the Medium Debt Strategy and develop mechanisms that would help the economy recovery.
He was speaking this week when PMRC appeared before the parliamentary budget committee submission to review the performance of the first quarter of the 2020 budget estimates.
“We need to immediately institute a post Covid-19 recovery plan especially that it has been revealed that the budgeted revenue for the 2020 budget is likely to be short by at least K14.8 billion or 19 percent of the approved budget.
“This is a concern and needs to be countered immediately,” Mr Kaunda said.
He stressed that effective and sustained implementation of fiscal adjustment measures remained critical to restoring macroeconomic stability as well as promoting robust and sustained growth.
Mr Kaunda also observed that need for Government to restore budget credibility as adopted in the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme by observing fiscal discipline and avoid breaching the deficit targets.
He emphasised strong adherence towards the austerity measures that were announced by the Government.
“This coupled with provisions of the public Finance Act, needs to be adhered to and enforcement must be ensured.
“In view of declining growth trends globally, regionally and nationally, there is need for Government to suspend selected infrastructure projects,” Mr Kaunda said.
He further stressed the need to promote domestic resource mobilisation and that the measures instituted in the 2020 National budget had to be reviewed at mid-term.
This, Mr Kaunda explained, was meant to assess their performance especially looking at how the new Zambia Revenue Authority online portal caused challenges.
“Budget prioritisation needs to be systematic and predictable so as to enhanced development outcomes,” Mr Kaunda said.