GOVERNMENT is drafting a Statutory Instrument (SI) to compel foreign companies to bank their earnings locally and also control externalisation of export earnings, Finance Deputy Minister, Miles Sampa has announced.
Mr Sampa told Parliament on Thursday evening that the SI number 34 would compel exporters especially those in the mining sector to acquire letters of credit from the Government before exporting their products and also ensure that their earnings are banked locally.
He said exporters would obtain the letters of credit to ascertain how much revenue they would acquire from their products and pay substantial revenue to the Government in respect of their total earnings.
Mr Sampa told the House that the revenue realised from the export earnings would be banked locally in a bid to help grow the Zambian economy.
Winding up debate on the report of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Mr Sampa said Government will introduce stringent measures on mineral exploitation.
The House adopted the report which was presented by United Party for National Development (UPND) Zambezi West MP Charles Kakoma who is chairperson of the committee.
"We are developing SI 34 to ensure export transactions are done using letters of credit and the revenue realised will be banked locally and utilised to grow the economy before it is given back," Mr Sampa said.
The report, among others, recommended that the Government should develop a comprehensive debt policy that would stipulate when to borrow, on what terms and for what purposes.
Mr Sampa said the Government was committed to dismantling all outstanding debts owed to various institutions and that the MMD regime left an external debt of about 10.9 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said MMD borrowed huge sums of money especially in the run up to September, 2011 elections to finance various developmental projects in its quest to woo votes from Zambians.
Mr Sampa told the House that the current external debt stood at about 10.7 per cent of the GDP and that Government would ensure various mechanisms were implemented to offset it.
He said, though MMD tried to grow the economy to 6.5 per cent, the economic gains never trickled down to the masses.
In his report, Mr Kakoma urged the Government to ensure the debt contracted was invested in projects that would yield the highest economic returns to offset the fast rate at which debt was being contracted .
"The Government should ensure that the legal framework in debt management is revised and defined clearly the responsibilities and functions of various agencies involved in debt management in order to avoid duplication of functions and improve transparency in the process of contracting loans," he said.
He said the Government should give priority to the most vulnerable in the repayment of debt such the pensioners.
MMD Senga Hills MP Kapembwa Simbao implored PF Government to focus on completing various developmental projects underway and desist condemning the former regime on uncompleted projects.