Patriotic Front (PF) Chama South Member of Parliament, Davison Mungandu, has called on the opposition in the country not to politicize the debt restructuring programme.
Mungandu said the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) should be commended for reaching a debt restructuring programme with the official creditors and engaging individuals creditors.
The lawmaker was reacting to the K177.9 billion 2024 national budget unveiled on Friday by Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, in an interview with Zambia Monitor.
He said the ruling UPND should be supported and encouraged to ensure that the policy pronouncements on debt under the budget are implemented.
“This government inherited a huge debt but have managed to get the debt restructuring programme and have gone further to engage individual creditors, the effect of this process will not be felt over night,” Mungandu said.
He said the impact of debt restructuring programme would only be felt once its implemented fully hence the need to support government.
“For me am excited with several economic measures and policies which are being implemented and all of us should be able to thank government for a job well done for presenting a budget which would seek to have the debt restructured,” Mungandu said.
In Parliment on Friday, Musokotwane said government external debt stock, excluding publicly guaranteed external debt, as at end-June 2023 increased marginally by 0.8 percent to US $14.07 billion from US $13.96 billion at end December 2022.
He said the increase was largely on account of disbursements by multilateral creditors.
Musokotwane said total publicly guaranteed external debt, however, declined by 1.9 percent to US$1.43 billion at end-June 2023 from US$1.45 billion at end-December 2022.
“The stock of domestic arrears marginally increased by 0.2 percent to K77.8billion as at end of June 2023 from K77.6 billion as at end of December 2022,” he said.
Musokotwane added that government had been undertaking an external debt restructuring exercise with official creditors under the G20 Common Framework.
He informed that following the agreement in principle that was reached in June this year with official creditors, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) would be executed between the parties.
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