By CHARLES MUSONDA
GOVERNMENT’s decision to reinstate value added tax and customs and excise duty on fuel is a clear indication that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) $1.3 billion bailout to Zambia is not helping but killing the country’s economy, the Leadership Movement (LM) says.
In an interview, LM president Dr. Richard Silumbe said it was an economic mistake from government to remove subsidies on fuel, a commodity whose price is unstable as it was always rising because of the instability in Europe and other factors.
Dr. Silumbe said a responsible government would always cushion its citizens’ economic difficulties so that the cost of production could always be lower as they adapted to new economic challenges.
He said the idea of removing subsidies and start taxing the fuel supply system would always result in fuel price increase and that in the end, the country would experience low productivity because of the difficulties people would face, especially those in the informal sector.
“That is the reason we have never seen a country that has developed through IMF loans. All countries that have developed under the sun have followed the truest course of development, which is production through human capital development. Developed countries like the UK depend on human capital and with their products such as guns and beads, they came to Africa; went away with natural resources and slaves whom they used as cheap labour for hundreds of years. They made money, raised their reserves and they are sending their people with money as foreign investors,” Dr. Silumbe said.
He said Zambia should learn from countries in the Eastern bloc where economies are expanding because of their human capital base while Africa leaders were always scrambling loans from Europe and the United States of America
Dr. Silumbe said this was why the LM wanted to create 30 farms in every district using the energy of young people for production and export of cash crops.