Accelerate economic diversification, JCTR urges govt

By Staff Reporter

 

The Jesuit Center for Theological Reflections (JCTR) has urged government to accelerate its economic diversification agenda.

JCTR has also urged government to implement strategic programmes that would empower the majority of Zambians in terms of sustainable employment opportunities.

JCTR Social and Economic Development Programme Officer Chanda Chileshe said decent jobs and incomes were an integral element of human dignity and as such could not be separated from the poverty reduction agenda.

Chileshe said in order to reduce rural-urban income disparities, it was imperative that government embarked on deliberate policies, such as those that focus on reducing the cost of living and promote job creation.

“Specifically, government should promote economic activities such as agricultural processing and value addition in rural areas. Further, government should provide an enabling environment and incentives to attract private sector investments in rural areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, the November 2018 JCTR Basic needs basket for a family of five living in Lusaka stood at k5,317.24.40 which was K7 more than the October assessment which stood at K5,324.95.

“The most significant changes were noted in Tea bags which increased by K5 from K79.5 in October to K84.4 in November per kg. Beef increased by K2 from K34 in October to K36 in November per kg. Sugar increased by K1 from K25.42 in October to K26.36 in November per kg. Washing soap increased by K1.5 in November. Some reductions were also noted in beans decreased by K5 from November. Vegitables reduced by K1 from K 7 in October to K6 in November,” Chileshe said.

He added that the gap between the cost of living and wages is mostly affecting the poor and vulnerable in society who are struggling to afford the basic needs of life.

Chileshe said  it was therefore important that wages and salaries in both private and public sectors  responded to the  ever increasing cost of living.