Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has said Zambia’s focus for the 2018 fiscal year is restoring fiscal fitness, so as to reduce the pressure on other sectors of the economy, especially on the monetary side. Mr. Yamba said Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by 4% by the end of 2017 and hoped that Zambia will close the year within single digit inflation.
Speaking when he the delivered a key note speech at the Mines and Money conference in London on Wednesday on the topic “Zambian Economy and the opportunity for innovation and development in the mining sector” Mr. Yamba said Government will continue on the path of fiscal consolidation under the Economic Stabilisation and growth programme, enhancing domestic revenue while refocusing expenditure. He said 68.5% of the 2018 budget will be financed from domestic revenue.
“In this regard, Government will continue with some key revenue measures which include implementation of fiscal registers (retail) and other automation in sectors such as telecoms, implement Property Transfer Tax, rump up land titling in 2018 with 300,000 pieces of land earmarked for titling, roll-out Tolling, modernize revenue collection platforms for non-tax revenue, implement single widow at border and appoint agents to collect withholding tax on rental income,” he said.
And Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Mining and Money Conference in London on Tuesday Mr. Yamba said Zambia’s prospect is that the economy will grow and the Country will have more revenue that will enable Government provide basic needs for the general populace.
“The economy has performed well in terms of growth, initially we projected growth at 3.8 percent but as we move towards the year we expect to grow the economy by 4 percent of the GDP, so that is a plus. When you look at inflation, we are still at single digit, in September we ended at 6.6 percent of inflation and we hope that we can close the year with a single digit inflation,” he said.
He said the exchange rate has been stable even though there was a minor depreciation, but in terms of the economic outlook, it is projected to be positive.
“Come next year, we hope to build on what we have done this year, where we continue with fiscal consolidation, reducing the budget deficit and ensuring that inflation remains within single digit levels,” he said.
Mr. Yamba further said that Zambia has been performing well in terms of attracting international investments, because a lot of investors were making inquiries through Zambia Development Agency to see in which sector they could invest their money.
“We have relied too much on Copper as a source of Foreign Exchange earnings. Currently 70% of Foreign exchange is derived from the Copper mining activities and 30 percent comes from non- Copper activities, so what the government has done is to put in place a deliberate policy that we try and go into activities like agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. We do not want to rely on mining as the major source of the economic activities but also others sectors,” he said.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde who was representing the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Honorable Christopher Yaluma at the Mines and Money Confernce said the diversification that Government has embarked on will not be mere rhetoric but will be practical.