Maputo — Lichinga (Mozambique), 30 Sep (AIM) - Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario announced on Saturday that the government, as from next week, will start paying its debts to the companies that have provided the state with goods and services.
He was speaking in Lichinga, capital of the northern province of Niassa, at a dinner he offered to business people of this city. The long delays in the government paying companies for the goods and services it has ordered has long been a sore point in relations between the government and the business class.
"Today I am announcing the start next week of a programme to pay the debts the state has with its suppliers", Rosario said. "After a very difficult moment, we can now gradually undertake a programme to eliminate the debt to suppliers".
He said that suppliers owed up to a million US dollars would have the money deposited in their accounts. Those owed large sums will receive titles for the amounts owing.
Up until last March, the State's debt to private companies was estimated at 2.7 billion meticais (around 45 million dollars).
Rosario also guaranteed that the government will work with the business class to design fiscal reforms. The new rules, he added, should ensure that audits would have more of an educational than a punitive role.
"Fines don't solve things", he said. "The audits will be held in the first place from a perspective of education".
The Prime Minister was convinced that "in the next few years the country's economic growth will be extremely good", particularly in agriculture, energy and hydrocarbons.
The dinner was held to raise money for the ruling Frelimo Party. Rosario is in Lichinga at the head of a central party brigade, working to support the Frelimo mayoral candidate for Lichinga, Luis Juma, and the other Frelimo candidates for the municipal assembly.
Items auctioned off at the dinner raised 976,000 meticais (about 16,200 US dollars) for Frelimo.