State to raise K2.3 trillion from subsidy removal


Government is expected to raise about K 2.3 trillion this year  from the removal of the subsidies on fuel and maize.

The government will use the money that will be saved from the subsidy expenditure to improve infrastructure in the social sector.

Chief government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni disclosed this to journalists in Kitwe today after appearing on ZNBC’s ‘ Kwacha Good Morning Zambia’ television programme where he highlighted  the benefits of the removal of the maize and fuel subsidies.

And speaking during the programme, Mr Sakeni said government cannot continue borrowing money from the outside world when the funds can be raised locally.

Mr Sakeni who is also information and broadcasting services minister said government will continue with its policy of providing care to the under privileged in the country.

This will be done under the already existing support programmes under the ministry of  community development and social welfare and the disaster management and mitigation unit to ensure that no one dies from hunger or any effects of the removal of the subsidies.
He added that government will still subsidise fertilizer to small-scale farmers at 50 per cent to enable them continue producing maize bumper harvests.

Mr Sakeni said government wants to improve the infrastructure in the health, education, water and sanitation sectors for the people of Zambia.

Mr Sakeni  observed that with subsidies, the past governments  failed to bring significant investment in the social sectors hence then need for the PF government to boldly take the move for the benefit of the Zambian people.

He cited the  few public universities in the country and the shortage of drugs in the major hospitals, a situation he said the PF government wants to reverse with the money that will be saved from the removal of subsidies.

He however appealed to people to be patient as the positive effects of the removal of the subsidies will not be seen immediately.

And Mr Sakeni has implored Zambians to work hard and create their own wealth unlike always waiting for government to do things for them as had been the case with government subsidies on fuel and maize.

Meanwhile, Mr Sakeni has directed Konkola Copper Mines to find alternative means of avoiding the speculated laying off of about 2000 workers.

He said the mining company must engage government and the union to find an amicable solution to the problems the company is facing.

He said government will not support the laying-off of workers in such big numbers at a goal  when it is trying to reduce the unemployment levels in the country.

KCM has announced its intention to lay off 2000 workers citing the high cost of production due to the fall in the price of copper on the international market and other economic factors on the market.