LUSAKA, (The Southern African Times) – Zambia needs to improve tax collection as its fiscal deficit remains high, the finance ministry said on Friday, with officials expected to conclude the latest round talks with the International Monetary Fund for an aid program later in the day.
The government must come up with a medium-term policy that will put it back on a trajectory towards achieving fiscal consolidation, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba told a news briefing.
The southern African copper producer has been seeking to stabilise its debt-burdened economy after it missed a coupon payment on a dollar bond in November, making it the continent’s first pandemic-era sovereign default. read more
Zambia had targeted to reduce its fiscal deficit to 9.3% of gross domestic product in 2021 from the 11.7% projected in 2020, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said in the 2021 budget speech last year.
Zambia’s revenue collection from January to March amounted to 18.5 billion kwacha ($834.08 million)and this was 13% above the target, Yamba said.
Total expenditure in the first quarter of 2021 stood at 22 billion kwacha and this was 23% below the projected 28.6 billion kwacha, he said.