Zambia Tax Reforms Coordinator and Financial Analysts, Ibrahim Kamara has expressed support over the efforts of the African Development Bank’s (AFDB) to approve US$11.1 million to back the country’s public finance and economic management.
Mr. Kamara positively welcomed the package of Zambia getting US$11.1 million from AFDB which would be of great importance to the management of the economy.
He further said that the country needs liquidity to support its import, but that in cases where exchange rates are high, inflation rate also increases.
Mr. Kamara added that the loan would be of significance to stabilize fiscal feasibility and try to work around the economic challenges the county is undergoing.
He however urged government that citizens have been over taxed and there is need to consider other areas to diversify the economy apart from the mining sector by venturing into agriculture, tourism among others.
“Government should see other areas to diversify away from mining, so far agriculture has proven to have potential, if it can be produced not only for domestic market but as well as at international market level for exports which will generate more revenues,” he said.
He said putting up of the export ban distorts the agriculture market and the process may end up hindering the potential of a farmer and that government must at least reduce these export bans and some barriers affecting the productivity.
He also noticed that there was need for the Ministry of Tourism to be active in business as the ministry had been dormant for a long time.
“Tourism has potential, countries like Zimbabwe do benefit a lot from tourism for they advertise more on Mosi-O-Tunya and the Victoria Falls, these show how Zambian tourism has been dormant, we need to be aggressive in terms of that,” Mr. Kamara explained.
The financial analyst also pointed out that government cannot operate without revenues adding that it must find means and other areas to raise revenues adding that Zambians have been over taxed.
He further observed that mines have for the past years not contributed much to the domestic revenues and has since called on the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to collect taxes from mines to boost revenues.
Meanwhile, another Lusaka based Financial Analyst Trevor Hambayi told the Lusaka Star that the package by AFDB’s efforts to approve US$11.1 million was good for Zambia, adding that it would help solve some of its financial crisis by using the same money to pay off some debts that the country is currently owing.
Mr. Hambayi said the current financial crisis the country has found itself in was as a result of too much borrowing by government adding that the country had borrowed more than what was stated in the budget.