BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
GOVERNMENT will next month hold virtual meetings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to negotiate an extended credit facility, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, has said.
Mr Yamba said this follows a request by Government for a formal programme with the IMF, and a high level visit to the country by the Fund delegations last year which was led by the IMF Director African Department, Abebe Aemro Salassie.
He said the virtual discussions would be held from February 11 to March 3, 2021.
“The programme discussions will centre on the government’s objective to attain fiscal and debt sustainability and on key pillars in the Economic Recovery Report, scaling up social protection programmes and undertaking the much needed reforms in agriculture and energy.
“The ministry of Finance will keep the nation updated on the programme discussions during the virtual meetings and subsequent step forward.
“On the part of Government, this is a national priority and has support at the highest level,” Mr Yamba said in a statement yesterday.
Mr Yamba said in line with the need to stabilise the economy and gain traction on its reform agenda, Government as espoused in the ERP and prior approvals had prioritised having a formal programme with the IMF.
This, he said, was in addition to the routine surveillance by the IMF under Article IV which Zambia a party.
“In line with this commitment, the Finance Minister formally made a request for programme discussions with the Fund in November 2020,” Mr Yamba said.