Sikazwe explains benefits of subsidy removal
Mpulungu, June 1, ZANIS ——-Mpulungu Member of Parliament Freedom Sikazwe says civil servants have also been negatively affected by the subsidies on fuel through their monthly tax contribution in Pay As You Earn (PAYE).
Mr Sikazwe was speaking in Mpulungu when he addressed heads of government departments during a meeting held at the civic centre.
Mr Sikazwe appealed to civil servants to help the government sensitize the people on the long term benefits of removing subsidies on fuel and mealie meal.
”We know that the subsidies on FRA, FISP and fuel have not spared you….they have been hurting service delivery and development of critical infrastructure and this government want to see that development reaches everyone,” he said.
He stated that the initial plan of the subsidies was to wean off citizens in the long run, adding however that only rich people and big companies were benefitting from the initiative.
Mr Sikazwe also appealed to people to trust the government and assured that the savings realized from the subsidies would be put to good use.
During the meeting however, some heads of government departments expressed concern that government should have formulated a mechanism to ensure that the savings were channelled to infrastructure development and service delivery to benefit the whole country including rural areas.
They argued that without a proper mechanism to follow, the savings could be abused and channelled to other areas like by-elections thereby disadvantaging other sectors and citizens that were sacrificing.
But Mr Sikazwe assured that by removing the subsidies, government was aware that they had ‘taken the bull by its horns’.
”We know that we have put our head on the chopping board because come 2016, the people will be there to judge our performance and we are not going to gamble with that…..we can promise you that the money would not go towards by-elections but infrastructure development and improved service delivery,” said Mr Sikazwe.
He said all the government wanted was to see to it that all sectors of the economy benefitted.
Mr Sikazwe who is also Lusaka province minister held several other meetings in villages in Mpulungu constituency where he explained to people on why government had removed the subsidies and the long term benefits.