Government has paid a total of 151.5 million United States Dollars towards the servicing of external debt from January to November this year.
Zambia’s current external debt is said to be $3.136 billion or 16.57% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and this level the country’s external debt is also said to be sustainable by internationally set fiscal standards.
In a statement released to Qfm this afternoon, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has also disclosed that government has paid a further 9.2 billion kwacha towards the servicing of domestic debt, especially for obligations related to government securities.
Mr. Yamba says Zambia’s domestic debt currently stands at 16.83% of the GDP a level he says is also sustainable and provides headroom for resource mobilization in the domestic market.
Mr. Yamba has also disclosed that part of the 65 million United Sates Dollars allocated to the Link Zambia Project has to date been utilized and that mostly for payments towards the15 percent mobilization fees for commissioned road works.
Mr. Yamba notes that the contractor for the Kitwe- Chingola dual carriage way, which was allocated 100 million Unites Sates Dollars from Sovereign Bond proceeds, has so far done 5% of the works, for which 106.97 million kwacha has been paid.
Mr. Yamba has further disclosed that as at the 30th of November, 2013, Zambia Railways Ltd had spent 230 million kwacha or 37.2% of the Sovereign Bond amount allocated to it on several infrastructure maintenance and rehabilitation activities.
He says, Zambia Railways Ltd is now remaining with a balance of 388.4 million kwacha or 62.8 % of the total Sovereign Bond proceeds received from the Treasury.
Meanwhile Mr. Yamba says as at the 30th of September 2013, DBZ had disbursed funds to 11 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) amounting to a total of 31.9 million Kwacha and that the Bank has further disbursed funds to 14 Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) amounting to a total of 34 million kwacha at the end of November, 2013.
And Mr. Yamba further notes the treasury will continue to observe domestic and international economic affairs with keen interest.
Mr. Yamba says on the domestic front, the Treasury is particularly concerned with prevalent incidences of delays, avoidance and non-compliance to tax obligations.
Mr. Yamba has appealed to the general public to ensure that as much as possible, receipts generated from cash registers must be obtained from traders so that the much needed tax revenue is collected for the benefit of all Zambians.
Mr. Yamba says this is important because when traders do not issue receipts, this leads to low VAT revenue collections from the retail sector.
The Secretary to the Treasury has since encouraged operators of small businesses to register their entities accordingly as formalization of businesses does not only generate pooled income for the economy, but also gives businesses and opportunity to access the many financial and capacity building interventions which Government offers to SME’s