THE 2012 Budget which will be presented tomorrow will embrace various commitments that the previous Government tied up and thus affect PF programmes.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Robert Sichinga said a lot of programmes initiated by the previous Government, would have an impact on PF programmes.
Mr Sichinga made the observations when British Minister for Africa, the United Nation, overseas territories and conflicts Henry Bellingham paid a
courtesy call on him in Lusaka yesterday.
The minister said the previous Government made commitments for road rehabilitation in the urban areas of about K4 trillion representing 25 per cent of the Budget.
“Now these works have been started, works are in progress. What do we do ….do you stop them? You need to complete them. This means that the 2012 Budget will firstly complete this assignment such that the PF programmes we said we will do in 90 days will be affected,” Mr Sichinga said.
He said the Government had imposed targets to implement within 90 days meant for assessing its performance and monitoring.
“There are certain things we must fulfill in 90 days and thereafter, we shall do another 90 days to check ourselves and see how we are progressing. This was not imposed from the outside but it was self imposed,” he said.
Mr Sichinga said the Government would create economic clusters for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to support the growth in the sector.
“We will create the economic clusters which MSMEs can go into and have opportunities for banking, company registration, marketing services and backup accounting services in this way we will formalise the informal sector,” he said.
Mr Sichinga said doing this would facilitate job creation and poverty reduction.
The move was not meant to reduce the commitments on the Multi Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ) because the zones were meant for large companies.
He requested British government to support infrastructure development and reforms in Zambia.
Mr Sichinga said the Government was seeking to encourage private sector investment and there was need for the British government to facilitate trade and investment promotion.
Mr Bellingham said the British government would encourage British companies to invest in various sector of the Zambian economy.
‘We want the British companies to come here to invest in skills, the people and bring in new capital for economic growth,” he said.
Mr Bellingham said UK had set target of increasing investment around the world and intensifying bilateral relationship with many countries including Zambia.
He said there are huge investment opportunities in Africa and in Zambia that would consequently increase employment opportunities.
Mr Bellingham said there was need to encourage two way trade between Zambia and Britain.
This would allow Zambian products being exported into that market and British product entering the Zambian market.
Times of Zambia