Finance Minister Felix Mutati has announced that the already high electricity tariffs will soon be adjusted upwards.
Speaking on ZNBC’s Sunday Interview, Mutati said government would continue removing subsidies in the energy sector.
“What we have done is that we are subsidizing a colossal amount in terms of power imports because we can’t afford the effect of continued subsiding in power which has an excess of $30 million every month, that money can be used for public investment, we can for example use that money to finish the Chingola – Kitwe road, there will be need to put in money for the Chingola – Solwezi road and for us to attend to the Great North road, for us to be able to invest in the education infrastructure, in health infrastructure which impacts on majority of our people, we need to remove on a gradual basis the subsidy in electricity,” Mutati said.
“Secondly, we have already engaged a consultant that is going to undertake critical work in order to move to cost reflective tariffs. And we think this exercise should be completed perhaps by June or July this year but certainly by the end of this year as a country we shall move to cost reflective tariffs so that we can begin to minimize on costs.”
And Mutati said government would soon accept an IMF economic recovery programme as it was the right way forward.
“The point we are making is that the direction of IMF from now going forward is going to be the best because one, it is programme that is home-grown and constructed by ourselves and that is just befitting. Moreover, the IMF have been with us for the last few years including when they were here last year. As you know every year to IMF comes to Zambia as a matter of routine …I will soon take the this to Cabinet for further examination, otherwise we already held open debates with opposition leaders and other stakeholders,” said Mutati.
And Mutati has insisted that government would no longer import fuel but that the private sector would be in charge of the task beginning April 01, 2017.