ZAMBIA Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) says it is delighted that government has brought back the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the discussion table.

The IMF team will be in the country this week to discuss a potential bailout package with Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu.

The institute said they have consistently called on government to pursue and secure an IMF programme  for the country since 2016.

ZIPAR said the developments were so cardinal given the recent protracted stalling negotiations.

“At the end of October, the Ministry of Finance reported that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials would undertake a staff visit to Zambia to exchangte to exchange views with the authorities about policies for stabilising the economy. With the IMF team expected in the country this week, ZIPAR commends government for its timely efforts in bringingthe fund back to the discussion table,” ZIPAR said.

ZIPAR said the IMF programme will entail using one of the facilities offereb by the IMF to replace as much as USD $1.3 billion of Zabia’s expensive commercial debts with cheap, nearly interest free concessional financing.

ZIPAR said an IMF package would signal to the international community and investors that the country is working a sustainable fiscal policy path.

“More importantly, an IMF deal would also signal to the international community , particularly to foreign investors and multilateral and bilateral investment partners that Zambia is finally working towards a sustainable fiscal policy path and is open for business,” he said.

ZIPAR added that the IMF support would reinforce mutual accountability between the fund and the authorities, thus stemming risks of domestic policy misalignment and fiscal slippage.

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