NANCY MWAPE, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has designed a medium-term strategy to clear debt owed to suppliers of goods and services through budgetary provisions and restructuring of longer term debt instruments.
The strategy known as medium-term-time-specific-arrears-dismantling is aimed at offsetting debt currently, standing at about K10 billion.
Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said maintenance of debt sustainability will remain pivotal in balancing of the economy.
“Government’s borrowing over the medium-term will be guided by the medium term debt strategy soon to be published to ensure the country remains within sustainable debt levels.
“It is envisaged that the fiscal deficit will be reduced to no more than three percent of gross domestic product by 2020,” Mr Yamba said in a statement issued over the weekend.
He said the institutional framework needs to be right to support the development trajectory set out for the 2018 to 2020 medium-term.
Mr Yamba said Government will continue to follow through with the necessary structural reforms to ensure that the medium term budgets deliver the expected development.
“Over the medium term, the government is also expected to fully phase out electricity subsidies, with the migration to cost reflective tariffs once the cost of service study, which is currently underway is completed.
“Mining houses and other bulk power consumers have already been engaged on the need for all to migrate to cost reflective tariffs,” he said.
The 2018 to 2020 green paper focuses on sustaining economic growth and development through the continued implementation of the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme (ESGP).
The programme is aimed at restoring fiscal fitness and overall macroeconomic stability as a basis for setting a platform for higher inclusive growth, employment and wealth creation in the medium to long-term.
Mr Yamba said over the medium term plans, Government will prioritise agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism as the strategic sectors for the creation of decent employment opportunities and inclusive development.
The 2018 to 2020 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) will restore fiscal fitness for sustained inclusive development and ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared equitably by all citizens.