By JAMES KUNDA –
FINANCE Minister Felix Mutati has assured Zambia’s cooperating partners of solid Budget performance in the fiscal year 2018.
Mr Mutati said the 2018 National Budget was linked to the five-year Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), creating a platform for the country to build on the economic gains recorded this year.
He said this during a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday shortly after meeting members of the Cooperating Partners Group (CPG) on the 2017 economic performance and the 2018 Budget.
Mr Mutati said yesterday’s engagement addressed key issues such as the enhancement of domestic resource mobilisation, capacity building and debt management.
He said generating resources locally was fundamental to socio-economic growth and the country enjoyed cordial working relations with cooperating partners such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on that score.
Mr Mutati hailed the aid by cooperating partners in enhancing the country’s capacity to mobilise resources through mechanisms such as the mineral value chain.
On debt management, the minister said the Government had published a medium-term debt control strategy, which was so far yielding commendable results and well-supported by the cooperating partners.
“Let me emphasise, we’ll also be amending legislation such as the Loans and Guarantees Act, the Public Finance and Procurement Act and the Budget Bill to enhance fiscal consolidation,” Mr Mutati said.
CPG chairperson Eric Shultz expressed optimism that the country would continue scoring economic gains under the implementation of the 2018 Budget.
Mr Shultz, who is United States Ambassador to Zambia, expressed happiness that in 2017, the country’s fiscal house remained ‘in order’ owing to the measures taken by the Government.
He appreciated CPG’s regular and ongoing engagement to exchange information with Government in supporting the country’s development.