Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – Zambia’s Finance minister Bwalya Ng’andu has revised the economic growth for 2020 to 2 percent.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, growth is now projected to be lower at around 2 percent despite the anticipated significant recovery in the agricultural sector, he explained.
Ng’andu said at a press briefing on Friday that the tourism, mining, manufacturing, construction as well as wholesale and retail trade sectors are projected to slow down on account of the pandemic.
He said in order to provide relief to businesses, the government has announced it will suspend excise duty on imported ethanol for use in alcohol-based sanitizers and other medicine-related activities subject to guidelines to be issued by the Zambia Revenue Authority.
In order to provide relief to businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in Zambia, the government will also remove provisions of Statutory Instrument (SI) 90 relating to claim of VAT on imported spare parts, lubricants, and stationery to ease pressure on companies.
Ng’andu also announced the suspension of import duties on the importation of concentrates in the mining sector to ease pressure on the sector and also suspension of export duty on precious metals and crocodile skin.
The minister has projected a slowdown in Zambia's economic growth and reductions in revenue collection due to the COVID-19 pandemic although inflation would remain between 6 and 8 percent.
He said the lockdown in South Africa would largely affect imports as that country is a major trading partner of Zambia.
-0- PANA MM/AR 27March2020