12 August 2020
UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) chairman for economics and finance Situmbeko Musokotwane says the Patriotic Front (PF) government is printing money, a situation he has described as disastrous to the economy.
Featuring on millennium radio’s “Interview program,” Mr Musokotwane disclosed that the current balance sheet at the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) indicated that the central bank was loaning out money to government which in itself is equivalent to printing money.
The former finance minister (MMD government) said the current PF government had spent all the money from tax payers and that the only option they had was to borrow money from BOZ, a situation he said was equivalent putting more fuel to fire or salt to an open wound.
‘’The exchange rate under such circumstances is likely to go up because now even to pay external debt, the central bank will be loaning government which is a wrong way to do things,’’ he said.
Mr Musokotwane explained that the mining sector needed to be handled with care as it was the biggest tax payer, employer and forex earner which was benefitting the country.
‘’The PF always want to spend money without understanding production, this is why the mining sector is still facing challenges, in 2010 and 2011 our copper production was more than 2 million metric tons per year but currently we (Zambia) are below 800, 000 metric tons,’’ he said.
Further, he stated that there was need to seriously come up with a good 2021 budget unlike the current one that was 50 percent spent on salaries, 40 percent paying back debt and that other important projects in the country had 10 percent share.
‘’As UPND, we will ensure there is a budget that will allow us to hire 40, 000 youths that have graduated from universities, a budget that will allow us to do many things unlike the current one which is just a budget of salaries and allowances,’’ he said.
‘’We need to engage the creditors, those that gave us the money so that the period in which we pay back can be strengthened and give us time to breath,’’ he added.
He said the UPND will be aggressive towards creditors and negotiate debts the country owes as it was the only way Zambians lives can be improved.
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