KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT will this year revise the loans and guarantees Act to enable the Minister of Finance to table before parliament the justification for contracting debts.
Currently, Zambia’s foreign debt stands at over US$ 7 billion. Existing regulations on debt contraction allow the Minister of Finance to borrow the funds after cabinet approval.
However, Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said several interventions will be put in place to strengthen the country’s debt management framework and strategies.
“We will continue implementing fiscal reforms to ensure that debts remain at manageable levels. Actually, Government will review the loans and guarantees Act to enable the Minister of Finance to table before parliament the reasons why the country should contract debts.
“This way, there will be increased transparency and accountability since people will know why Government is borrowing and for what purposes,” he said in an interview after officiating at a budget review dinner last week.
Mr Mutati said Zambia will now borrow concessional loans and not commercial ones.
“This is part of the debt management strategy. We need money but we don’t need exotic money from dubious enterprises. Global financial conditions are tight but we shall only deal with bonafide and recognisable institutions and banks,” he said.