By JUDITH NAMUTOWE –
THE Government should continue putting in place predictable policies to create an economic platform for job creation and wealth creation in the country, a leading business executive has said.
MarK O’Donnell said there was need for consistency and predictability in economic policies in the country.
Mr O’Donnell called on the business community to work together and encouraged the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to use the already available tools to give citizens an economic platform that would grow the country’s economy.
Speaking during the public discussion hosted by the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) and the International Growth Centre (IGC) at Pamodzi Hotel on Tuesday evening, Mr O’Donnell said lack of clear and predictable policies was a great concern for the business sector in Zambia.
“We, in business, need to see predictable policies from the Government as to how it will run the economy for the next five to 10 years to come,” he said.
He said the Central Bank should be able to intervene with a broad-range of measures in as far as controlling the exchange rate was concerned.
Mr O’Donnell expressed concern over the size of the informal sector in Zambia which he said was not contributing to the country’s economic growth.
He said the size of the informal sector was huge, and yet it did not contribute to the government’s revenue through taxes.
“About 60,0000 motor vehicles were privately imported into the country last year by the traders and so if the informal sector was paying something to the Government, maybe we would not have so much demand for dollar than it is now,” he said.
He bemoaned that the inflation at seven per cent was still high and that there was need to bring it down to manageable levels.
Mr O’Donnell said it was important to start dealing with fundamental problems which he said once addressed would begin to have an impact on inflation, exchange and interest rates.
And Bank of Zambia (BoZ) director financial marketing Emmanuel Pamu said there was need to ensure most foreign exchange was absorbed within the economy.
Dr Pamu said the country had huge exports in the range of about US$10 billion, but that little was being absorbed into the economy.