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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Government commences the process of revising Zambia`s national budgeting format

Economy Government commences the process of revising Zambia`s national budgeting format

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda addressing accountants during the ZICA annual ball dinner at Zambezi Sun Hotel in Livingstone
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda addressing accountants during
the ZICA annual ball dinner at Zambezi Sun Hotel in Livingstone

Government has commenced the process of revising Zambia`s national budgeting format in order to achieve integrated development planning with the budget process as well as facilitate fiscal decentralisation among other objectives.

The exercise follows Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda`s announcement at the presentation of the 2014 national budget last year that Government would revise the current budget format to enhance public service delivery.

The exercise also comes after the subsequent approval of the Planning and Budget Policy by Cabinet in March this year.

A team of eight technocrats from the Ministry of Finance is in Pretoria to undertake a study of the country`s Department of National Treasury during which they will be taken through the South African
national budgeting system.

Chief Budget Analyst at the Ministry of Finance, Mwaka Mukubesa, explained yesterday that the Zambian Government has picked on South Africa as a model because the country has been cited in the Open Budget Index as one of the success stories in effective budgeting.

The Open Budget Index is a system created by the American-based Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a research outfit that analyses the impacts of budget policies and promotes effective approaches to reducing poverty.

Mrs Mukubesa, who is leading the team, said approval of the Planning and Budget Policy by Cabinet envisages the re-engineering of development planning and budget process to enhance the performance or results orientation of the annual budget, improve budget transparency, facilitate more effective National Assembly oversight over public finances and raise accountability of Ministries, Provinces and other Spending Agencies.

She said Zambia has been using Activity Based Budgeting (ABB) system which she said has over the years presented some weaknesses such as bulky budget documentation which hinders effective decision making by the Legislature.

Mrs Mukubesa further said there was almost complete absence of information on the outputs that are to be delivered by spending the allocated funds in the Yellow Book which she said undermined
transparency and accountability, as well as the performances-focus of the budget.

The study tour includes lectures by senior South African Government officials speaking on issues relating to budget planning and preparation, as well as other issues linking to the objectives enshrined in the recently approved Zambian Planning and Budget Policy.

Mrs Mukubesa was speaking when her delegation paid a courtesy call on Zambia`s High Commissioner to South Africa, Muyeba Chikonde.

This is contained in a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka by Press
Secretary at the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, Patson Chilemba.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Please do not revise it, the formula and as it is, it t works and is embraced by all zambians. Why fix something that is not broke?

    Thanks

  2. I am not an economist, but this sounds very logical. Making the budget readable, understandable and transparent is a desirable. Even more desirable is structuring it in line with results oriented structure. To me this sounds like it will be easy to compare and tick off the results of the previous budget and easy to manage. If a layman will then understand the national budget then that would be the best budget.

  3. Whatever it is that is coming, should not have done away with the ABC, but just improved on the results reporting. Otherwise, how do you discard ABC in this day and age of limited resources (if ever there was a time of unlimited resources), when one needs to identify the priorities (Activities – A), which will require funding, and estimate the costs thereon to come up with the so-called budget? These guys sould not confuse us with their real mission in SA, which is learn and learn, and earn perdiem ….. and come and do nothing!

  4. can some one come and rescue CBU Staff from these exploiters called INDO ZAMBIA BANI KITWE BRANCH…they cheat pipo that their loan interest is 18% while facts are that its over 49&……come those concerned come and do their own investigations and interview a number of Clients.

    please let justice be done.

    concerned citizen

    kitwe

  5. You got to be careful because it also matters with your policies and the implementation bodies you have.

  6. You guys in finance, what ever method you use in Budgeting should aim to communicate your budget effectively. My problem is not the budget; rather its the “Actual Cost Reporting” which is extremely weak. To illustrate, if I budget to build a Bridge in 36 months, I will be reporting nearly every 2 weeks or 4 weeks about the performance of the budget using the “Actual Cost”. Ministry of Finance talks a lot about budgeting; no comments about how they executed the budget. For me there lies the major issue which does not allow “learning from mistakes”. Auditor General’s office reports lags by 18-24 months at best. What is the MoF doing about this?

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