Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda

FINANCE Minister Alexander Chikwanda has called for austerity measures by the treasury and controlling officers in an effort to maintain the budget deficit at lowest minimum.

Mr Chikwanda noted that the projected 3.8 budget deficit in the next year’s national budget would only be attained with fiscal discipline by the treasury.

The Minister was speaking on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Sunday Interview programme on Sunday evening.

Mr Chikwanda projected a budget deficit of 3.8 percent when he presented the K53.14 million national budget. The projected deficit is surprisingly low in comparison to 4.6 projection he made for 2015 which has risen to 6.9 percent.

“The 3.8 percent is our target, and the treasury has means of controlling expenditure excesses. It calls for a lot of toughness on the part of the treasury; if you want to be popular don’t be finance minister.

“For instance, I travel when it is absolutely necessary, because if I travel as a minister you give me US $500 per diem per day at the current exchange rate that’s K6,000 so you pay (salaries for) two people from that,” he said.

He said there should be morality in the manner government officials travel to save the scarce resources.

Mr Chikwanda noted that some expenditure had not been properly accounted for when people travelled abroad.

He reiterated that prudent public financial management was indispensable in the country’s prevailing economic environment.

Apart from cutting down on unnecessary travels, Mr Chikwanda said controlling officers would be put to task on any expenditure that was done beyond the budget.

He said it would be a misdirection of public funds for controlling officers to direct money to travel expense which was meant for other services in their ministries and institutions.

“All of us in Government we are very much aware about the cost implication of travel,” added Mr Chikwanda who said he refused to attend the IMF and World Bank annual meeting in Peru because the budget was too high.

The Finance Minister however, assured that the country’s economy was still intact despite the currently hardships it was going through.

He said the agriculture sector, fisheries and forests would drive the Government diversification following the current challenges that had affected the mining sector.

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9 COMMENTS

    • This is to to little too late. This govt is to extravagant. Edgar goes to NY by charter plane. creates ministries, buys 157 brand new cars foe DCs but turns round and blames nature for a collapsing economy….and solution is prayers on the 18th. What a clowny govt

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  1. Please tell kamwendo munjila also to stop globetrotting. He can delegate ministers to some of these trips that he takes abroad. Presidential trips by their nature are extremely expensive; if I were Lungu I would completely stop all international trips

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  2. When does a Minister claim per Diem? When he travels outside the country or even when he travels from Lusaka to Kafue and sleeps in Kafue??

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  3. FINALLY A LITTLE BIT OF TRUTH AND SENSE! I HOPE LUNGU WILL HEED THIS ADVICE. LUNGU HAS WASTED SO MUCH MONEY IN TRAVEL COSTS AND NOTHING BUT DEFICIT TO SHOW FOR IT. PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA PLEASE WAKE UP. THIS GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. THE COUNTRY NEEDS CHANGE!

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  4. I listened to that interview. Hon. Chikwanda was frank and calm throughout. This is the calibre of leaders who can help the country. Fault him if you can, but he is an inspiration in these hard times.

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  5. Good leaders lead by example. Like President of Brazil she her salary by 30% then ask her ministers will also sacrifice. Is that not good? The ministers and government controlling officers should take a leaf from the Minister of Finance. LOL…

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  6. Badala Chikwanda, you can now retire with some little dignity. You have nothing to lose by telling your PF the truth. Zambia is bigger than one political party.

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