GOVT URGED TO BE CAUTIOUS WITH ZAMBIA’S DEBT RESTRUCTURING DEAL TO AVOID FALLING BACK IN DEBT TRAP
By Patricia Male
Zambians for Unity, Peace and Development -ZUPED-is urging government to be vigilant with the debt restructuring agreement reached with Zambia’s creditors to avoid falling back in the debt trap that the country was in.
ZUPED President Ronnie Jere explains that after concluding individual negotiations and agreeing with major creditors, government is expected to start paying off based on individual agreements with these creditors and has cautioned that if government does not raise any money to pay off on new terms, Zambia may slide back in the debt trap.
Mr. Jere is urging government to use this opportunity to focus on areas that will stabilize and grow the economy in terms of revamping critical economic sectors in order to boost exports which will help the country get the necessary foreign exchange that can be used to repay the debt when the loans mature.
Mr. Jere who has commended government for reaching an agreement on a comprehensive debt treatment with its official creditors under the G20 common framework says this development will help boost investor confidence and attract more investment into the country.
He has however doubted the reduction in prices of major goods and services as a result of this development, since debt restructuring is not debt rite- off but has just given government enough time and an opportunity to negotiate how it can pay back without affecting major developmental programmes in the country.