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By Gibson Masumbu
Government has indicated that it will remove subsidies in line with its quest to attain fiscal consolidation. Government has been providing subsidies that cover farmer input support, electricity and fuel consumption. Government has however also indicated that the removal of subsidies will be done gradually to mitigate adverse impact on the poor.
By Joseph Simumba and Caesar Cheelo
ZAMBIA IS STRUGGLING to accelerate economic diversification. This challenge calls for serious policy action as there are now only 13 years to go before the due date for the Zambia Vision 2030. Economic output, employment and foreign trade are all concentrated among a few sectors and over a narrow range of products and firms.
By Caesar Cheelo
The third pillar of the Zambia Plus economic recovery programme, which the Finance Minister launched in October 2016, focuses on improving economic and fiscal governance by raising the levels of accountability and transparency in the allocation and use of public finances.
By Florence Banda-Muleya
As the Honourable Minister of Finance read out the 2017 budget speech on 11th November, he echoed the theme Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development several times. What does fiscal fitness mean for government budgets, and how can Government achieve it in 2017?
The Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) has welcomed the Government’s 2017 budget, which it says is realistic in the face of current challenging economic conditions. Overall, the budget presents some conservative and more realistic targets such as expected economic growth, job creation and inflation ZIPAR also welcome the Government’s intention to “develop, publish and implement a robust medium term debt management strategy in 2017”.
In recent days, there has been some confusion about inflation in Zambia. On 27th October 2016, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) announced a 6.4 percentage-point drop in the annual rate of inflation from 18.9% in September to 12.5% in October.
Some commentators have interpreted the drop in the annual rate of inflation as a fall in actual prices. Ordinary Zambians have been confused because when they go to the shops they don’t see falling prices. Far from it, they see prices still going up.