THE International Monetory Fund (IMF) has withdrawn its representative to Zambia Dr. Alfredo Baldini.
Dr Baldini, an Italian national with over 20 years of international experience as a macroeconomist and a former professor of economics at key institutions like the London School of Economics.
And Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya in her latest tweet, Siliya said the IMF is in Zambia for various programmes and is not leaving.
She said Dr Alfredo is leaving Zambia and that his replacement will be made soon further adding that Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe will be issuing a detailed statement over the weekend.
Zambia has been seeking for an aid package from the IMF believed to be around 1.3 billion U.S. dollars but the two parties have so failed to reach an agreement.
Last year, IMF urged Zambia to deal with its rising debt, which had become a focal point for the talks, warning that the country risked plunging into a debt distress.
Zambians traveling to Dubai urged to check their travel documents
THE Zambian Consulate in Dubai says it is concerned with the increased number of nationals travelling to other countries via Dubai being denied passage due to lack of Travel Permits.
And the Consulate has has advised all Zambian travelers wishing to transit through Dubai to ensure that they carry with them all the necessary travel documents in the country of destination such as travel Visa, valid passports, COVID-19 negative tests and pre-approval Travel Permits.
In a statement, Consulate second Secretary for Accounts Musonda Chella said cautioned that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most countries around the world have introduced special permits which need approval before one travels. Sometimes this application has to be submitted 24 hours to 14 days prior to the date of travel.
He observed that some Zambians have travelled without special travel permits via Dubai where the airlines from the United Arab Emirates prevented them from proceeding further to the countries of destination.
“This has caused panic and inconvenience as the nationals have incurred extra costs on tickets, spent nights in the airports, and in other cases sent back to Zambia,” Chella said.
K 5.7 billion allocated for FISP to benefit 1 million small-scale farmers
MINISTER of Finance Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu has disclosed that government has allocated a whopping K5.7billion for the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to support over one million small-scale farmers in the 2020-2021 farming season.
Presenting the national budget in the National Assembly, Dr. Ngandu said government had also allocated K517.5million for the national food strategic reserve.
“Mr. Speaker, the Economic Affairs function has been allocated a total of K21.5 billion,” he said.
“Notable expenditures include K5.7 billion on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), targeting one million farmers across the country”, he said.
“Further, for the country to be food secure, I have set aside K517.5million for the national strategic food reserve”, he said
Dr. Ngandu also announced support to the livestock sector by promoting a programme to restock and control cattle diseases.
“Sir, to promote the livestock sub-sector, Government will continue with the Livestock Stocking and Restocking Programme out of which at least 30 percent of the beneficiaries are youths”, he said
“In the first half of 2020, a total of 3,100 households benefitted from the Programme. With regard to animal
health, a total of 283,000 animals
have been vaccinated out of the 2020 target of 290,000 under the Livestock Vaccination Programme”, he said.
He also announced a loan programme in the agriculture sector to primarily benefit young people.
“Mr Speaker, Government is
implementing the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development
Project aimed at stimulating a viable aquaculture sub-sector”, he said
“In 2020, the Project, through the Citizens Economic Empowerment
Commission(CEEC), has disbursed loans worth K6.3 million to 637 aquaculture entrepreneurs”, He said
“These loans are targeted at empowering youths and women “. he said
2021 Budget is pro-poor, aims to safeguard livelihoods and protect the vulnerable
FINANCE Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu’s budget has been welcomed by many who say the budget will safeguard the interests of the poor, who have been hit hard by the recent economic slow down caused by COVID-19.
Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu tabled the budget at the National Assembly on Friday afternoon where he proposed to spend K119.6 billion in 2021 which translates to 32.6 percent of GDP. Of this amount, K68.0 billion, representing 18.5 percent of GDP, will come from domestic revenues and grants. The balance of K51.6 billion will be raised through financing.
“Mr. Speaker, the 2021 Budget clearly lays a foundation for economic recovery, build resilience, safeguard livelihoods and protect the vulnerable. The thrust and priority for 2021 and the medium term will, therefore, be to re-invigorate growth, restore macroeconomic stability, attain fiscal fitness, restore debt sustainability and dismantle domestic arrears and at the same time safeguard social protection spending” he said.