By KENNEDY MUPESENI –
THE establishment of milling plants in all the provinces will reduce inflation caused by the prices of food in the country, the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) has said.
ZIPAR executive director Pamela Nankamba-Kabaso said the Government’s intention to keep inflation within single digits in 2016 was reasonable.
“The Government’s intention to keep inflation within single digits in 2016 and the medium-term is plausible.
“The planned setting up of storage facilities and maize milling plants in all the provinces will reduce high post-harvest losses and production costs for mealie meal, feed stock and other maize-related products,” Dr Nankamba-Kabaso said.
She was speaking yesterday when she appeared before the expanded committee of Parliament on estimates at Parliament to present the 2016 National Budget analysis.
Dr Nankamba-Kabaso, however, observed that non-food inflation which largely composed of imported products such as fuel might rise due to pass-through effects of the recent Kwacha depreciation.
She added that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 2016 might be sensitive to influence imported products.
Dr Nankamba-Kabaso said commentators’ concerns were that the computation of the CPI and inflation rates might also be insensitive to the influence of import prices given the limited extent of including imported items of CPI basket of commodities.
Dr Nankamba-Kabaso urged the Government to establish the reliability of CPI data and computation in the country.
Committee chairperson, Highvie Hamududu urged the economic and policy think-tanks in Zambia to guide the nation in providing solutions to the economic challenges facing the country.
“We rely on you to provide empirical evidence on various economic sectors so that we develop as a country. Anyway this is the best presentation ever presented to this committee,” said Mr Hamududu, who is Bwengwa Member of Parliament.