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GOVERNMENT should quickly dismantle debt owed to the private sector for it to become vibrant and spur economic growth, an economist Yusuf Dodia has advised.

Mr Dodia said the debt owed to the private sector had negatively affected the Zambia’s economic growth.

He said the huge debt was making it difficult for the sector to participate fully in the country’s economy.

“We are in some kind of recession caused by ourselves, the foreign and domestic debt has really accumulated which has made our economy very difficult.

“We are sitting on a US60 billion domestic debt and this is depriving the private sector finances, therefore, the sector is facing difficulties to contribute to the economic growth of the country.

He said the private sector was a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and as such this situation would continue to negatively affect the economy.

Mr Dodia said the US$60 billion debt which was owed to the private sector meant that the economy was being forced to come to a standstill.

“With this debt which is being owned to private sector, it has forced some of the business entities to stop operating because of most of them cannot pay taxes. It was prudent that the private sector’s debt was serviced so that the sector once again become vibrant.

The private sector is the engine of this country’s economy, so if it is not vibrant then we have no other hope for our economy to grow,” Mr Dodia said.

He also said most of the budget expenditure was going towards the external debt servicing which was another aspect for the economy’s poor performance.

“We have a situation where the private sector is being deprived through nonpayment of debt owed by government and also the budget allocation is going towards foreign debt servicing rather than to the economic growth of the country,” he said.

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