Portuguese-speaking countries at the forefront of creating an African free-trade zone
The government will 17 percent of the state’s debt to private sector suppliers this year, Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Maria Isaltina Lucas said on Friday at a meeting with the Niassa business community.
Deputy Minister Lucas said that the debt, whose actual value she did not specify, resulted from supply of goods and services to the state, the government having decided to allocate this payment in the state budget for the year as part of its plan to gradually pay off its suppliers.
“We are aware of the debts. It was in this context that, in 2017, we made a brief survey of the debt situation in the country, both the investment and goods and services components. What we found was that, in fact, we have debts that go back to 2009, and even further,” the deputy minister acknowledged.
As a next step, Lucas said, the government would initiate a process of validation aimed at verifying if, in fact, the goods and services concerned were actually rendered. Validation would also verify whether what the public sector assessed as the value to be paid matches what the private sector claims to be entitled to.
The deputy minister was responding to concerns raised by Niassa businesspeople during a meeting with Carlos Agostinho do Rosario.
Other concerns aired at the meeting were related to the corruption that, they said, hinders the proper functioning of business, in addition to the “excessive fines” resulting from “systematic inspections” that business owners in the province claim they are subject to.
In response to these concerns, the prime minister recommended that public-private dialogue be improved there, as being the only way to solve most of the issues that are currently of concern.
The government was now focussing on infrastructure, the prime minister explained, and access routes in particular, in the belief that, when properly working, they would cater to the performance of the business sector by facilitating the flow of raw materials and other products to consumer centres.
“Infrastructure is now a priority for us. Then we will move on to productive sector incentives, which we know is another of your concerns. But let’s talk. It will be a dialogue that will bring the solutions advantageous for us all, and that harm neither the private sector nor the state, much less the population,” do Rosário said.
The prime minister concluded his visit to Niassa on Sunday.Source: Notícias