Business

‘Disposable incomes spur economy’

CHIKWANDA

ANGELA CHISHIMBA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT will continue to grow the economy by increasing people’s purchasing power through raising the tax free threshold and adjusting emoluments of the lowest paid workers in the public service, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda says.
Mr Chikwanda said it is Government’s belief that higher disposable incomes spur the economy through increased purchasing power.
“Poverty is itself the biggest impediment to higher and meaningful growth of any country. You cannot grow the economy with people who have no purchasing power,” Mr Chikwanda said when he officiated at a joint Cooperating Partners Group (CPG) and Government Conference on inclusive growth and job creation on Monday night.
Mr Chikwanda said Zambia should ensure optimal benefits from agriculture which offer the best prospects for the development of the country.
“In relation to sectors like mining, the costs and gestations in agriculture are immensely much lower. We have started to go in that direction by ensuring that our extension officers in the districts have improved mobility. We have done this by furnishing them with motor bikes,” he said.
He said Government has improved intensive extension services to deliver upgraded agronomy and higher yields which will improve the income prospects of small-scale farmers.
“Through research, crop yields will increase because frequent changes in seed arrest and seed strain deterioration, which is invariably exponential, affect yields,” he said.
“As a country, we have logically invested emotions and sentiments in some preferred crops. During the current harvest, we have had a bumper crop, but the producer price was jacked up resulting in our purchased maize being far above the world price. As things stand, every tonne we export will enlist some subsidy of up to US$10 per tonne,” Mr Chikwanda said.
Earlier, CPG chairperson Kundhavi Kadiresan said job creation helps reduce poverty, improve livelihoods and contributes to growth and prosperity.

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