K5.63 billion released for developmental programmes and Government operations

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Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe
Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe

IN FEBRUARY, 2018, the Treasury released a total of K5.63 billion for developmental programmes and Government operations. Of this amount, a total of K2.14 billion was for personal emoluments for public service workers, K1.5 billion went towards debt service, and K799 billion was released for grants while the remainder of K1.22 billion went to other key programmes including capital projects.

K341 million was disbursed to Ministries Provinces and Other Spending Agencies (MPSA’s) for operations and for implementation of planned programmes and activities.

The Auditor General was given K15 million for activity implementation, including for the production of the 2017 Audited Financial Report by 30th September, 2018. The requirement to produce the Audited Financial Report is constitutional. In addition, as part of the broader Financial Management Reforms, the Auditor General has been capacitated to undertake a wide range of audits on public resources and public service operations.

Of the amount released for grants, K92 million went to the Ministry of Agriculture for the Farmer Input Support Programme [FISP]. The Food Reserve Agency received K30 million to cater for costs associated with protecting, preserving, and maintaining food in various storage facilities across the country, while K4 million was released for the 2017/2018 Agricultural Season Crop Survey.

K89.9 million was disbursed to the Local Government Equalisation Fund in order to facilitate the operations of Councils while the Ministry of Health received K60.8 million as hospital grants to facilitate operational costs of health facilities across the country and a further K80 million for the procurement of drugs and medical supplies.

The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services received K45.8 million for the Social Cash Transfer Programme, while the Public Service Pensions Fund received K88.3 million for retirees’ pension benefits in line with the Government’s spirit of not leaving anyone behind. The Compensation and Awards Fund was allocated K25 million in order to clear arrears for cases determined by the courts against the Government.

The Skills Development Fund was given K19.8 million, to address challenges of inadequate skills among artisans and craftsmen, in a programme jointly managed by the public sector and the private sector to ensure that the skills that are being developed are relevant to the industrialisation programme which the Government has embarked on.

K5.6 million was given to the Government Printers for modernisation and infrastructure rehabilitation while K6.75 million was given to the Ministry of Home Affairs (Immigration Department) for establishment of an Electronic Document and Record Management System.

National Road Fund Agency received K49.6 million for onward disbursement to the road sector for various obligations.

MEANWHILE, commenting on fiscal discipline concerns by stakeholders with regard to the Auditor General’s Report, MINISTER OF FINANCE MARGARET MWANAKATWE has reiterated that the Government has embarked on the implementation of public financial management reforms in planning and budgeting, revenue administration, accounting and reporting, internal audit and control, and public procurement TO ENSURE AND ENSHRINE IN LAW, the prudent use of public resources.

“I take this opportunity restate the message of HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT Mr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU at a recently held workshop for Ministers and Controlling Officers, that the Government has prepared and submitted the Public Financial Management Bill (2017) to Parliament TO STIFFEN REGULATORY AND SANCTION REGIME THAT WILL SEE FINES AND JAIL SENTENCES OF UP TO 5 YEARS FOR OFFENDERS,” said the Minister, adding that, “I am hopeful that once this bill is enacted into law, it will compel accountability and transparency in the mobilisation, storage, handling, and utilisation of public resources.”

To strengthen commitment controls, a lot of work to migrate all ministries onto the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and Treasury Single Account [TSA] is on-going. As directed by the President, efforts are in place to migrate all remaining ministries and agencies onto these systems this year without fail.

On its part, the Ministry of Finance will continue to issue Treasury Briefs to ensure that the public is timely informed about developments in the economy.

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7 COMMENTS

    • Keep it up … address fiscal responsibility at every opportunity and advise the nation on transparency measures your Ministry is embarking on.

      That’s the first secret to remaining above reproach at Finance. Without that everyone will paint you otherwise … you have a huge responsibility and you have our support. Turn things around the Margaret way while keeping your nose clean.

      Don’t forget that humility is key and take everything under advisement but be firm once you make your decisions. Be ready to explain your objectives without fear or favor because Zambia Is Greater Than Any Single One Of Us ~ B R Mumba, Sr.
      Your time is now …

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  1. I am visiting Zambia my country, my home and my proud for the first time in 10 years. Zambia indeed is currently enjoying the greatest “INFRASTRUCTURE developments” in terms of CHORELLA epidemic, POT-HOLES, NO STREET LIGHTING anywhere (apart from the State House areas) and massive street vending!

    Little wonder therefore that EVERYONE in the world today is “trooping” to Zambia for TRADING and NOT manufacturing business cos, they can see huge deposits of Dollars just lying on the ground and only waiting for them to pick it up! Shame on my lovely country, the land of plenty and endowed with free sunshine, rainfall, green vegetation from the almighty GOD – ALL for free…

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  2. Disbursement of funds is okay, but what these leaders don not tell us, are the budgets for each element they are giving this money, the disbursement might not even meet the needs of those elements, hence this might be just for sontaring purposes. With the uwa mwibala policy this money might end up in the pockets of a few individuals, there are hardly any arrests for corruption under ECL which might encourage more stealing.

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  3. After mediocre performance you expect positive momentum or growth. We need a budget that is inclusive not for only civil servants. We should see a budget that creates opportunities for the poor majority Zambians and the youth. We are going through high levels of unemployment amongst our youth. You should present a budget that is promising for all Zambians. We expect you to put the economy on track and setting aside money for high priorities. Government please can’t you come up with a different game plan this time around. Before you fund any projects or areas of need, get the economic fundamentals right; tackle more decisively the issue of excessive inequality; and address the major concerns of our young people to help ensure bright prospects for them and for future generations. Don’t…

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  4. Don’t cheat yourselves there too much misplaced policies. We have lost confidence please put policies in place to keep pace. This means using a tailored mix of monetary, fiscal, and structural policies to consolidate the recovery and raise growth prospects. As I always emphasize that we need reforms that can lift productivity and potential output. Address excessive inequality. I am emphasizing about excessive inequality because it hinders growth, erodes trust, and fuels political tensions. I don’t understand our budget game plan instead of investing more in education and the youth look at technology what it has done we cannot cope going at our current rate in our universities, we are still behind in research and technology due to policy inconsistences and budget constraints. Look at our…

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  5. Look at our fiscal strategy for example advanced economies could raise taxes without hampering growth, which would provide resources for priority needs or even debt reduction. But us we are busy accumulating debts. Then in terms of local government why can’t you decentralize the sector for proper running. We cannot run administrative, legal, financial affairs all from Lusaka. All other councils have no capacity except Lusaka why. The health industry faces the same music. These practices breed inefficiency.

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