BY CHRISTOPHER CHISI
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection(JCTR) regrets that the forthcoming Presidential address to Parliament and the 2020 National Budget will be delivered amid various social and economic challenges and expects President Edgar Lungu to give a clear direction on how the government intends to tackle them.
Centre Program Manager, Innocent Ndashe says the President should state clearly how the government will address high unemployment rate, rising cost of living and inflation rate among other challenges affecting the country.
Speaking during a media briefing when giving JCTR expectations from the Presidential address and the 2020 National Budget in Lusaka, the JCTR Program Manager expressed concern with the struggling performance of kwacha on the international market as well as the agriculture sector which has been negatively affected by the drought [climate change].
And Mr.Ndashe has questioned why the country which is endowed with abundant resources such as precious minerals is grappling with high poverty levels that are estimated at 54.4 percent.
He explains that in realizing the principles that underpin the 2030 agenda of not leaving anyone behind and ensuring human rights for all, explicit actions need to be undertaken in order to alleviate poverty.
He says against this backdrop, it is imperative that progress is made to diversify the economy stating that so much potential remains untapped.
Meanwhile, Mr.Ndashe says going forward the organization expects the government to focus on attracting investment in various parts of the country in order to broaden the tax base and reduce the tax burden on people in the informal sector.