Friday, 18 January 2013

JCTR calls for affordable cost of living in 2013

The Jesuit Centre For Theological Reflections (Jctr) Says The Year 2013 Should See Improved Welfare, Compared To 2012, For A Decent Life Of The Majority Poor Through Both Affordable And Accessible Basic Needs.

Jctr Says This May Be Achieved Through Implementing Measures That Are Structured And Long-Term In Addressing The Cost Of Basic Needs Adding That Zambia’s 2012 Economic Performance Showed A Mixed Picture At Macro And Micro Levels.
Jctr Social Conditions Programme Manager, Daniel Mutale Says Zambia Performed Well At Macro Level With Economic Growth Projected At Just Over 7percent And Single-Digit Inflation Closing At 7.3percent In December.
Mr Mutale Has Noted That Other Indicators Include A Bumper Harvest In Maize Production During The 2011/2012 Farming Season However, Meaningful Improvement In An Economy Should Translate Into Corresponding Improvements At Individual And Household.
He Says At The Close Of The Year 2012 The Basic Needs Basket For A Family Of Five Living In Lusaka Stood At Over Kr3000 Recording The Highest Amount In The Year Which Shows A Significant Increase  Of Kr 627.95 In The Cost Of Living Compared To December 2011’s Basic Needs Basket Of Kr 2, 904.15.
Mr Mutale Says Of Particular Concern Is The Upward Trend In The Cost Of Basic Food Items As Shown By Kr64.55 Increase From Kr818.75 In December 2011 To Kr883.30 In December 2012.
He Says The High Cost Of Food Items For December 2012 Was But A Reflection Of The Persistent High Cost Of Basic Needs Which Characterized 2012 Especially The Second Half.
Mr Mutale Says That The 2012 Cost Of Living Was High And Largely Unaffordable By The Majority Poor May Be Confirmed By Sampling A Few Basic Food Items And Among These, The Cost Of Mealie-Meal Proved To Be Way Beyond The Means Of The Majority Poor By Increasing From About Kr 40.20 In June 2012 To Around Kr 60.90 In December 2012.
The Jctr Through Mr Mutale Has Also Acknowledged Several Measures Taken By The Government To Curb The High Cost Of Living Including Direct Engagements With Millers And Off-Loading More Maize On The Market. ‘
He Says While These Efforts Are Recommendable And Will Push The Cost Of Respective Basic Food Items Downwards, There Is Need For More Long-Term Measures To Stabilize The Overall Cost Of Basic Needs Which May Potentially Shoot-Up In The Long-Run.
Jctr Has Also Urged Government To Not Only Vigorously Implement The Announced Measures To Address The Cost Of Basic Food Items But To Also Consider Supplementing Them With More Measures Such As Extending The Zero-Rate Policy Beyond Wheat And Wheat Products To Other Essential Basic Food Items.
The Organization Says It Is Important To Devise A Comprehensive Plan That Clearly Lays Out Both The Short-Term And Long-Term Measures To Address The Rising Cost Of Living

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