Former Commerce Minister and MMD Lunte MP Felix Mutati has said that the 2016 Budget presented yesterday by Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda lacked the punch to give youths hope that there were business opportunities next year.
However, Politician Mbita Chitala said the Budget was pro-poor as Mr Chikwanda reduced tax on property transfer from 10 percent to five percent.
Dr Chitala said the Budget outlay was well done especially in the area of taxation as the move to enhance productivity in the manufacturing sector.
Dr Chitala’s words were echoed by Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) executive director Kryticous Nshindano who said the Budget speech clearly spelled out the measures that will improve the country’s social and economic welfare.
Patriotic Front (PF) Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri said she was happy the Budget addressed the Eurobond sinking fund.
Ms Phiri said it was true that the Eurobond had been channelled towards infrastructure development but it was equally important that the Budget had an allocation for the sinking fund to pay back the funds.
Chembe MMD Member of Parliament (MP) Mwansa Mbulakulima however said the Budget did not discuss how the mining sector would be revitalised considering that it was the only main income of the country in the meantime.
Mr Mbulakulima said he foresaw the country remaining static economically if it did not go worse.
Overall, the Budget has been received with a sigh of hope as it has addressed most of the issues that were thorny to many people. The budget is said to have given hope to all sections of society, including the youth, which demonstrates the seriousness of the Government in making Zambia a smart country both in appearance and in economic terms.
Some analysts, cautioned those who are bent on finding faults with anything coming from the Government, that under the prevailing circumstances, this can be considered the budget of hope, which is likely to bring economic growth and increased employment for the youth.
The Government is advised to walk the talk.