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Zambia spends US$151m to service external debt

The Zambian government has paid a total of US$151.5 million to service its external debt from January to November 2013, the Ministry of Finance said.

Zambia’s current external debt stands at US$3.136 billion or 16.57% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and, according to the ministry, at this level, the external debt is sustainable by internationally set fiscal standards.

Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said in a statement that government has paid a further K9.2 billion (US$1.7 million) towards the servicing of domestic debt, especially for obligations related to government securities. Zambia’s domestic debt stands at 16.83 percent of GDP.

The ministry however said the treasury would continue to observe domestic and international economic affairs with keen interest, saying on the domestic front, it was particularly concerned with prevalent incidences of delays, avoidance and non-compliance to tax obligations.

“Of particular concern at this moment is the retail sector whereby traders are making sales of ‘vatable’ products without issuing cash register generated receipts. Through this practice, the government is losing the much-needed revenue required for financing employment creation, poverty reduction and social sector programmes,” Yamba said.


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