Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Zambia: Government allocates K3 trillion for infrastrutural development

Government has set aside K3 trillion in this year’s budget for infrastructural developments projects.

Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Felix Mutati, said infrastructural development had the capacity to promote competitiveness in economic activities, adding that the construction sector had for a long time been the highest contributors to the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

Mr Mutati was speaking in Lusaka last evening during a public discussion on Public Private Partnerships in the face of the global economic credit crunch held by the National Council for Construction (NCC).

Mr Mutati said in the light of the global recession, there was need for business modules such as the Public Private Partnership (PPPs) to be strengthened by putting in place measures that would enable the private sector to thrive.

He added that government would see to it that the PPPs’ policy is passed and that the process of acquiring business licences is revised.

Mr Mutati observed that the current system of acquiring business licenses was too long due to high levels of bureaucracy at institutions responsible for the issuance of licenses, saying there was also need for the licenses to be compressed by getting rid of unnecessary levies.

He said government would therefore see to it that institutions dealing with the registration of prospect businesses are automated to improve on efficiency and reduce on costs of registering businesses.

The minister said government had realized the need to create a favourable environment for the private sector to boom, thereby creating more jobs which the country was in desperate need of.

He said government alone would not manage to attain economic growth but that it would create an environment that would promote partnership with the private sector in developmental projects.

Earlier, NCC Board chairman, Dr Francis Ndilila, said there was need for the construction sector to take advantage and implement more construction projects to create more jobs.

Dr Ndilila said the construction sector should reverse the 1970’s scenario which saw the sector create jobs four more times than now.