One economic analyst has cautioned government that operations could be crippled leading to slow economic growth if strikes involving staff in public service institutions are not resolved soon.

Chancellor College Economics Professor Ben Kalua making the remarks warned government to tread carefully as meeting the salary demands would pile more pressure in executing the 2014/15 national budget.

“Government is seating on a time bomb because if it does not deal with the industrial strikes soon, this would still influence copycat strikes by other institutions within the system. On the other hand, meeting the demands by the workers would also instil pressure on the national budget,” Kalua observed.

When the labour force goes on strike, the implication is that there is no service delivery and this impinges on government operations, revealed the analyst.

He, however, cautioned government to trade carefully in dealing with the situation saying any slight mistake would have huge repercussions.

“It will be challenging for government to get extra money. Automatically, it would mean domestic borrowing and if government ventures into domestic borrowing on the ground, the tax payers would be squeezed further,” warned Kalua.

He said this will raise the cost of financing in the already constrained resource envelope of the 2014/15 national budget.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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