The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen at the IMF headquarters during the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo/File Photo

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LUSAKA, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Zambian Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said on Friday the International Monetary Fund’s board was due to meet at the end of the month to approve a loan plan.

The southern African country reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF on a three-year, $1.4 billion extended credit facility in December, contingent on its ability to reduce debt to levels the fund deems sustainable.

Late last month, Zambia’s official creditors pledged to negotiate debt restructuring, a move hailed by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, which allows the fund’s board to consider sign the financing. Read more

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Addressing the same event as Musokotwane, the Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary said the economy grew by 2.4% in the first quarter of 2022 and the economic environment is expected to improve due to advanced engagements with the IMF and creditors.

Mukuli Chikuba said government revenue and grant collections were 5.5% above the half-year budget target, while spending was 14.7% below target.

The central government’s external debt rose slightly to $13.25 billion at the end of June from $13.04 billion at the end of December, Chikuba said. He added that the government plans to remove inefficient subsidies such as fuel over the 2023-25 ​​period.

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Reporting by Chris Mfula Writing by Alexander Winning; Editing by Kim Coghill

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