By CHARITY MOONGA
SECRETARY to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba is concerned over increased reports of financial misrepresentation in the private sector, especially in the mining industry.
Mr Yamba said although the economy was steadily gliding out of turbulence, the treasury was gravely concerned with reports of financial misrepresentation.
Mr Yamba said Government had since embarked on a programme to monitor the mineral value chain.
“Once the programme on monitoring the mineral value chain is fully functional, coupled with our commitments under the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative [EITI], holes in the system will be plugged and the people of Zambia will begin to get the full value of their interest in natural resources,” he said.
This is contained in a statement issued by Ministry of Finance public relations officer, Chileshe Kandeta. Mr Yamba appealed to all citizens to be vigilant and to ensure that cases of financial fraud are promptly reported to relevant authorities.
“In this respect, organisations such as the Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants and the Zambia Institute of Internal Auditors are expected to take leading roles in fostering private sector transparency and financial accountability,” he said.
Meanwhile, Government says it has continued to observe international standards of debt management, and is consistent with the commitment to maintain strong credit worthiness and safeguard macroeconomic stability.
Mr Yamba said as at the end of April, 2014, external debt stood at US$4.2 Billion or 22 per cent of GDP, while domestic debt stood at K20 Billion or approximately 16.4 per cent of GDP.
“In this regard, both external and domestic debt levels remain below the international thresholds of 40 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively,” he said.
Mr Yamba said for the period from January, 2014, the total external debt service, principal plus interest payments, now stood at $52.2 million of which $2.6 million was a payment made in April, 2014.
According to Government’s current projections, the total external debt falling due over the next 12 months stood at $249 million or 1.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Project (GDP).
Mr Yamba said that from January, 2014, total domestic debt service related to Government securities, principal plus interest payments, now stood at K3.2 billion of which K544.6 million was a payment made in April, 2014.
In the same month, Government issued K458 million treasury bills in the domestic market.
“According to our current projections, the total domestic debt falling due over the next 12 months stands at K9.8 Billion or 8 per cent of GDP,” he said.