THE Government is determined to reduce the high levels of unemployment and poverty in the country by promoting the development of the productive sector, which will lead to the achievement of the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate of targeted 5.0 percent in 2016.
The State is also targeting to increase domestic revenue mobilization to at least 20.4 percent of GDP from 18.1 percent projected in 2015.
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said when he presented the 2016 National Budget that the Government was determined to reduce the high levels of unemployment and poverty.
The Government also wants to ensure that many Zambians participate in various economic activities as it strives to lay the foundation towards a smart economy, as espoused by President Lungu.
He said the Government was also targeting to reduce the budget deficit to 3.8 percent of GDP and limit domestic borrowing to 1.2 percent of GDP.
Inflation would be maintained to single digit rate with an end year target rate of not more than 7.7 per cent.
Next year, Government is targeting to accelerate the diversification of the economy, particularly towards tourism, energy, agriculture and agro-processing.
International reserves would be maintained at not less than four months import cover.
The Government would create employment opportunities through the accelerated implementation of programmes such as the Industrialisation and Job Creation Strategy and the Youth Empowerment Action Plan.
On agriculture, an additional 5,000 hectares would be brought under irrigation in 2016, bringing the total area under irrigation to 22,000 since 2011.
As a demonstration of Government’s commitment to diversification, the electronic voucher system will be implemented during the 2015/2016 agricultural season in 13 districts.
The Government will also enhance extension services and livestock disease control measures.
To achieve self sufficiency in fish production, the Government will continue establishing fish hatcheries in each province and encourage the establishment of private-owned hatcheries.
In the health sector, the Government will focus on completing the construction of health facilities, recruitment, retention and training of Frontline personnel.
The Government will also continue with the construction of drug storage and distribution of essential medicines through construction of drug hubs.
The Government will also focus on completion of the various education infrastructures currently under construction as well as continue to roll out the revised education curriculum.
The Government will operationalise Robert Makasa University and commence construction of King Lewanika University, Luapula University and three university colleges in Katete, Nalolo and
For water and sanitation, the Government plans to increase rural access to clean and safe water from the current 67 per cent to 69 per cent.