LUSAKA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Zambia is ready to access 1.3 billion U.S. dollars interest free financing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from ongoing negotiations to help its economic recovery program, state media reported on Sunday.
A delegation from the IMF is in Zambia to hold talks with the government on a financing agreement, which is expected to be concluded in June. Initial talks commenced in March last year.
Minister of Finance Felix Mutati told the Zambia Daily Mail that the country needs half a billion U.S. dollars of external borrowing this year to meet the budget requirement in order to ensure smooth running of the economy.
He however said the country has come up with its own economic recovery program and that the IMF will not dictate anything, adding that there was no need for apprehension by stakeholders on the financing program.
The money, he said, was expected to maintain spending on priority social protection and infrastructure programs, a move that will enhance the country's economic recovery program.