Socialist Party leader, Fred M’membe, says instead of developing a master plan for the country’s economic recovery, the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) seems to be in ‘fire fighting mode.’
M’membe in a statement issued on Saturday said the UPND lacked a comprehensive economic recovery policy/strategy under President Hakainde Hichilema’s government.
He said the UPND was focusing on day-to-day operational matters instead of formulating a strategic economic recovery master plan on how it will incentivise domestic value addition, bring Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines on board, and come up with a clear policy on agriculture, among other things.
“Also, the uncertainty regarding debt restructuring has most likely resulted in non-resident bond players pulling out their investments upon maturity.
This will certainly negatively impact the exchange rate further,” M’membe added.
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He also said that inflation was now hitting double digits despite assurances by the Minister of Finance, contradicting the Statistician General who announced on April 27 that the April inflation rate had reached 10.2 per cent.
M’membe also argued that the projected 20 percent partial payment of K11billion will deprive the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) of the liquidity required to participate in government securities.
He said consequently, the government would be starved of the much-needed operational funding required to function.
‘In April 27, 2023 bond auction of K2.6 billion, the government only raised K636 million, which was a massive under subscription and this can be partially attributed to NAPSA’s absence or its minimal participation in government bonds,” M’membe said.
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