Editor's Comment

2015 National Budget spot on

GOVERNMENT yesterday unveiled the 2015 budget with a focus on industrialisation and job creation.
This is a step in the right direction. Industrialisation is a driver of economic growth which also leads to job creation.
A number of countries are developed because of industrialisation which they embarked on much earlier. We have an example of the Industrial Revolution which saw massive industries coming up in Europe.
Firstly, industrialisation entails massive investment in various sectors of the economy and infrastructure development to set the stage for creation of wealth.
It further calls for technological innovation to tackle the challenges that come with the use of modern technology.
It is in this vein that the announcement by Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda should be seen as a grande programme and  commitment towards developing the country.
History shows that all the developed countries of the world passed through an industrialisation process to develop their economies. Benefits of industrialisation include enabling a country to process its raw materials into finished products and add value so that they fetch higher prices on the market.
Industrialization also increases job opportunities for the masses in large and small industries.
Once more job opportunities are opened up, there is a corresponding growth in the tax base so that government coffers will enlarge.
It is the increase in the number of jobs that we commend Government for taking a measure that will eventually lead to the uplifting of the standard of living for Zambians.
The current employment levels in Zambia need urgent attention and this can be tackled by industrialising the economic base.
Out of a population of 13 million, about 750,000 people are in the formal sector.
The current employment figures mean that only those in formal employment contribute to the national coffers while those in the informal sector, who are also in the majority, are outside the tax net of the Zambia Revenue Authority.
For Zambia to move the industrialisation process forward and in a successful manner, Government should get hold of those in the informal sector, some of whom, no doubt, earn more than those in formal employment.
All Zambians have a responsibility to contribute to the development of the country financially.
It is incumbent upon Government to quickly put in place policies that will cover people in informal jobs and make it mandatory for them to pay tax.
There is need for Government to put in place a data base for all traders in the informal sector so that some of their earnings are used for developing the country.
The industrialisation process should, therefore, not be left to Government.  All those who earn some income bear the responsibility to contribute to government revenue.
Zambia has a youthful population and its future can be assured if the industrialisation process is set in motion now. Our children will need jobs and these can be created if industrialisation is enhanced.
As said by Mr Chikwanda, poverty alleviation on a sustainable basis can only be achieved with investments in tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and construction as sectors that promote employment for the youth. And this is the way to go.




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