Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa has challenged commercial banks to reduce lending rates saying government has put in place necessary measures to induce a significant reduction.
Speaking in Kitwe yesterday during the FNB 2024 National budget analysis, Mr. Nkulukusa said government has withdrawn its domestic borrowing in order to leave space for the private sector.
He noted that lending rates should be in the range of 18 percent instead of the prevailing range of about 37 percent.
He stressed that it is critical for banks to engage in fair business practices for the private sector to participate in steering economic growth as projected in the 2024 national budget.
And Mr. Nkulukusa has stated that in 2024 the government will have capacity to spend more on social security and investment programmes that will boost economic growth following successful negotiations on debt restructuring.
And ZICA President Bridget Mwenya commended government for increasing the Constituency Development Funds from K28.3million to K30.6million saying the move will create more jobs and reduce poverty.
Ms. Mwenya however called for auditing of Constituency Development Fund and training of CDF handlers in financial management.
And FNB Country Economist Chileshe Moono noted that the incentives in the mining sector have boosted investment pledges from US 1.76 billion in 2022 to US3.4billion in 2023.
Mr. Moono also noted the reduction in the expense on debt servicing which he said gives government resources to spend on social security and growing the economy.