Kwacha begins to improve

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THE Kwacha has started gaining value against major convertible currencies following Government’s decision to revoke Statutory Instruments (SI) 33 of 2012 and 55 of 2013.
SI 55 empowered the bank of Zambia (BOZ) to monitor inflows, outflows and international transactions while SI 33 prohibited the use of foreign currency in domestic transactions.
A check in selected bureaux in Lusaka yesterday showed that the Kwacha had recorded an improvement two days after the two SIs were revoked.
The local currency had before the revocation of the instruments hit a peak of K6.45 against the United States dollar.
At FXA bureau de change near Pick n Pay in Woodlands, the dollar was buying at K6 and selling at K6.325 while the Euro traded at K8.25 and was selling at K8.42.
C and A bureau at Manda Hill shopping mall, the dollar was buying at K6.20 and selling at K6.40 while the Euro was selling at K7.10 and selling at K7.20.
A check at the Golden Coin bureau at Spar Arcades found the dollar buying at K6.20 and selling at K6.30.  The euro was pegged at K7.40 and was buying at K7.50.
On Friday, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said Government had decided to revoke the two SIs, which were meant to support the implementation of monitory policy.
The World Bank has welcomed the revocation, saying the decision indicated that Government valued consultation with the private sector on policy change.
The Bank’s group country director for Zambia, Kundhavi Kadiresan said the move would enhance public confidence in policy matters.
Economist Oliver Saasa also hailed Government’s decision, saying it will have a positive impact on the economy.
Meanwhile the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has lauded Government’s decision to revoke the two SIs and welcomed planned consultations on the matter.
ZNFU president Evelyn Nguleka said in an interview yesterday that though the damage in the agriculture sector had already been done, the move was better late than never.
“The cost of production in the agriculture sector was affected because of the implementation of the two SIs as trading of inputs was badly affected, but it is good that the SIs have been revoked,” Dr Nguleka said.
She said the cost of inputs for some products might not be immediate while others would be adjusted immediately as farmers would need to make profit from the commodity that they purchased during the time the two SIs were in effect.

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Times of Zambia

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