GOVERNMENT says debt swap is in fact a means of paying for arrears owed to public workers in the form of travel allowances, salary arrears and other social benefits that are part of the terms of service of civil servants. which have not been settled by the government although they have been earned, resulting in arrears owed to them.
That’s according to Treasury Secretary Fredson Yamba.
In his noted words, the exercise was “just a way to liquidate what is owed to government employees.”
“This exercise has no cost to the government. This is a debt swap where the government pays what officials owe the banks only to the extent that officials owe the government, ”he said.
“The exercise of the debt swap is in fact a means of payment of arrears owed to public officials in the form of travel allowances, salary arrears and other benefits in kind which are part of the conditions of service. civil servants who have not been paid by the government although they have been acquired. , resulting in arrears owed to them.
Yamba said the reconciliation would take three months, after which the actual amounts involved would be determined.
“Nevertheless, the exercise will not cost the government anything, as the amounts will be deducted from what the government owes the civil servants,” he said.
Yamba said the exercise was not an entirely new concept for the government as it has undertaken such transactions with utility companies and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).
“The only difference now is that rather than interacting with companies, this exercise is focused on individuals but still remains in line with the debt dismantling strategy,” Yamba said. “The amounts for the payment of arrears are already budgeted and the multilateral institutions have advised the government to reduce the accumulated arrears. “
During a visit to PMEC, Yamba; who was accompanied by the Accountant General Kennedy Musonda Musonda, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Amos Malupenga and the Permanent Secretary of the Civil Service Management Division Boniface Chimbwali, confirmed that the initiative of The debt swap had been implemented for July 2021 wages to be paid next week. .
Yamba took the opportunity to show how the debt swap initiative had been carried out and to illustrate the resulting increase in net wages, in many cases.