Finance Minister Felix Mutati interacting with Zambia Daily Mail Managing Director Nebat Mbewe.
Finance Minister Felix Mutati interacting with Zambia Daily Mail Managing Director Nebat Mbewe.

Parliament has unanimously approved the K64.5-billion 2017 national budget without any amendments.

The national budget was passed, Wednesday night.

First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala presided over debates that led to the approval after which she handed over the report to Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini.

Earlier Minister of Finance Felix Mutati presented the Appropriation Bill number 47 of 2016 which was a culmination of tasks started in the committee of supply and estimates for the 2017 National Budget.

Mr. Mutati stated that the important task that now lies ahead after the budget approval is implementation in line with the theme of ““Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development.”

He told the house that the success of the budget depends on revenue in-flow and committed his ministry to timely collection of revenue and disbursements to provinces and spending agencies.

Parliament has since adjourned sine die. The house adjourned at 23:40hrs after Vice President Inonge Wina moved the motion.

Meanwhile, REFINANCING the US$2.8 billion Eurobonds in 2017 will be determined by the satisfaction of the market fundamentals such as being able to obtain longer repayment terms and achieving lower rates, says minister of Finance Mutati.

Refinancing a bond is the process through which a company reorganises its debt obligations by replacing or restructuring existing debts.

In an interview, Mr Mutati said Government would assess the market which would determine whether or not it could go ahead and refinance the Eurobonds in 2017.

“We shall have to look and make an assessment, can we be able to refinance a Eurobond in 2017 at a price lower than the one that we got it at, if the answer is yes, then we shall do it,” he said.

Mr Mutati said one of Government’s key deliverables for 2017 was to refinance the Eurobond, but he was quick to mention that timing would depend on market conditions.

“We need to taste the market, whilst the fundamentals externally may be weak, it is better to test the market and see whether at this moment in time in the first or second quarter it is possible to get a pricing that is superior,

“So yes we shall hold on, we will not take the decision unless we can achieve a superior price and for us timing is critically important,” he said.

Mr Mutati emphasised that Government would however taste the market if possible

He said Government was clear on what it wanted to do in 2017 which included formulating a debt sustainability analysis.

He explained that to see its ability of being able to meet the repayment of the Eurobonds in 2017 and going beyond, which he said would give Government the headroom of how much more it could borrow.

“There is no need to refinance a bond if you do not achieve a lower cost and longer repayment terms, there is no logic,

“So those two variables must be able to be satisfactory for us to take that particular decision, what the stakeholders are saying is not strange, it is part of the totalities of the ingredients that we are undertaking and evaluating,” he said.

Mr Mutati said the overall objective was that Government wanted to reduce the content of debt repayment from almost 20 percent of domestic revenue to a lower percentage to raise some resources for development.

He was responding to concerns from stakeholders that Government should halt refinancing the bonds because the market conditions were currently tight.

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17 COMMENTS

    • Unanimously means almost all or above 90percent. So those who rubbished the budget voted for it also. These are signs that mps from the tribal party are now sucking their cokes quickly and coming to terms with reality. 5years nipataaali.

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    • Using semantics to confuse us. Just say we are going to borrow again not finace the Euro Bond as though you have money to finance anything. Again, you are thinking loudly ati we shall taste the market. You think the lender is dumb? Goand taste they have already added the honey for you to benefit and the mmajority Zambians to suffer.

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  1. I do not understand this statement: “Parliament has unanimously approved the K64.5-billion 2017 national budget without any amendments”. What about the 7.5% tax on copper concentrates that has since been abolished before it was even implemented? Was that not material enough to warrant reworking of the budget? How much revenue will the Govt lose as a result of back-tracking on the 7.5%? And we are saying budget has been approved “without any amendments?”. Either there is something wrong with me or our parliamentarians are behaving in a similar manner they behaved on the issue of Grade 12 certificate.

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  2. Why am I not surprised…because like most documents they never read them, they were probably more interested in where the xmas parties were next week. Only when Mutati goes to refinance at high interest rates to the market will it sink in their Grade 12 empty dunderheads!!

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    • It reminds me of course back then in skul. When u have a lesson before lunch..or u tell the teacher when he asks if you have understood was Yes..when he gives you assignment then you fail to answer after rushing ku dingo to get tuma Zambia Airways. These guys were more interested to close and visit tuma gelo friend and enjoy some

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  3. Your comment “Africa Like” is spot on. To compensate for the Zk 500m loss arising from the withdrawal of mining duties. Which means the budget is not fully funded so alternative sources of Revenue will have to be found from elsewhere. Either govt increases its domestic or external borrowing. Failing which the total expenditures have to be reduced. It looks like the Budget was prepared in a rush and no proper consultations were done with the mining firms. The 2017 Budget estimates are too optimistic and a Supplementary Budget during the Year is inevitable.

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  4. Its good the Budget has been approved We only hope the budget will act as a stimulus in those funds that should effect much more than just household consumption

    The minister in trying to restructure the Euros Bonds and other Debt in 2017 must avoid falling in the debt overhang like we are observing from the current scenario in the once prosperous gas and friendly country and investments grade Mozambique

    You need to avoid any similar occurring and this budget flexing in spending should give the minister that flexibility to manage

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  5. The Hon minister must be supported to avoid a debt overhang and crisis that can follow You may have to reengineer and be creative in revenues and expenditure to create that space to avoid the similar
    The targeting in expenditure forecasted at agriculture must give you the Gross output in produce that you will need to sell in USD equivalent and make a return on that investments spend

    The tightening approach is well articulate but the minister must work hard whilst excising caution and grow the revenues instead

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  6. 2017 is not the best year to refinance looking at the performance outlook or sovereigns “Fixed Incomes” 2017 to 2020

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  7. There’s no mention of removal of 7.5% duty on imported concentrate. It says passed without any amendment so where did this story come from. Journalism is no longer a profession.

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  8. unanimously in parliament means the pf majority approved it and the only thing now is to wait for excuses to warrant adjustments and overans its common in africa so lets go on.

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