NEWLY appointed finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe says the government must formulate a plan for offsetting domestic arrears in a systematic manner in order to help dismantle the K9 billion domestic debt.
During her first strategic meeting with top management in the Ministry of Finance on yesterday, Mwanakatwe also directed the team to develop a sustainable plan for timely payment of salaries to public service workers.
“I am requesting that we formulate a plan for offsetting domestic arrears in a systematic manner in order to help dismantle the K9 billion domestic debt. We have an economy to run, we have an economy to protect, and we have an economy to grow. We have to intensify our domestic resource mobilisation while at the same time developing sustainable plans for concessional, cost-effective, and value for money external resource mobilisation,”
Mwanakatwe said in a statement issued by Ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta.
She reiterated government’s concern with the perception of corruption in some public offices.
Mwanakatwe urged her team to ensure that her ministry “demonstrated and practiced transparency and accountability in the discharge of treasury and economic management functions” in order to augment the public confidence in the trustworthiness of the ministry to mobilise, manage, and keep custody of public resources “without raising credibility and governance red-lights”.
“This Ministry is key and must play its role in assuring the public that the perception of corruption which has been appended to some public offices will be addressed,” she said.
Mwanakatwe called for hard work at all levels of the ministry to ensure that the country reaches Growth Domestic Product [GDP] in excess of 5 per cent.
She said there was need for the benefits of growth of the economy to begin to trickle down to the citizenry.
Mwanakatwe commended the team for ensuring that economic stability was attained.
She reiterated the consensus of Cabinet to improve domestic resource mobilisation.
Mwanakatwe asked her top management team to ensure that the actions and performance of her ministry met people’s expectations.
Those in attendance at the meeting were Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, permanent secretary for Economic Management and Finance Mukuli Chikuba, permanent secretary for Budget and Economic Affairs Dr. Emmanuel Mulenga Pamu, Accountant General Dr Dick Chellah Sichembe, and Controller of Internal Audit Joyce Sundano.
Others were Treasury Counsel Kawama Goma-Simumba and Director [HRA] Joyce Nyama.
And Yamba said the Ministry of Finance was formulating a plan to deal with the obligations that the country would have to fulfill as the Eurobonds fall due.
Yamba assured Mwanakatwe that plans were also underway to dismantle domestic arrears and timely pay public service workers.