Sort out debt, Plot 1 aspirants urged

AS ZAMBIANS go to the poll tomorrow  Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) chairman Yusuf Dodia has called on the in-coming President to ensure that the increasing debt which currently stands at over US$7 billion is tackled.
Mr Dodia said the debt, comprising of both domestic and foreign, amounts to US$7.7 billion and is putting the economy under pressure due to high interest rates.
He said in an interview on Thursday that there is need for the in-coming President to address the debt issue through ensuring prudent fiscal management, which is key in mitigating indebtedness.
“The biggest challenge the President should address is, the huge debt the country has incurred. The country’s domestic debt is about US$3.7 billion while international debt is about US$4.7 billion,” he said.
Mr Dodia also said there is need to ensure a win-win situation between investors and majority Zambians in the allocation of proceeds from natural resources.
He observed that some investors are allegedly evading tax resulting in low tax remittance.
“Some investors operating in the country have not been remitting the right taxes and ploughing back to the communities and this should come to an end. Zambians and investors should all benefit from the resources,” he said.
Mr Dodia said infrastructure development remains critical for the economic transformation of the country and the head of state should ensure that existing projects are completed while new projects are also implemented citing the Kafue Lower Hydro Power project, as one the projects that need to be implemented.
He said investment in the railway sector is also critical in easing the cost of transporting of goods within the country and beyond.
In a separate interview, Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) vice president Robert Liebenthal says the new President should improve revenue administration for the country to collect the right taxes, which will be used to undertake developmental projects.
“The new President should improve revenue administration, to collect the tax that is due and concentrate on better expenditure management, to get rid of waste,” Mr Liebenthal said.

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