Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu has said Zambia is making progress in the implementation of fiscal consolidation measures.
He has reiterated the Government’s steadfastness in implementing austerity measures; effectively managing debt; and, ensuring that the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme [ESGP] remains on course in line with the country’s stabilisation and growth aspirations.
Dr. Ng’andu has said results of the registered progress will continue to be shared with the public on a quarterly basis.
The Minister was sharing his reflections on some of the issues of critical importance that are on his table. He called for all players in the economic sector to pull in one direction and reiterated his resolve to tackle the tasks given to him by President Edgar Lungu such as returning the economy to fiscal health, achieving sustained fiscal consolidation and registering growth.
He said among the measures taken to register progress in the implementation of austerity measures is the stoppage of commercial loan contraction; re-scoping of existing non-critical projects by redesigning them in order to trim their estimated costs; and, the on-going identification and compilation of data on projects that will be stopped or postponed.
Dr. Ng’andu further said the recently approved supplementary budget by parliamentary in which figures were realigned within the total estimates for the current budget [approved by parliament in December, 2018] is a clear demonstration of the effort that the Government is making to realign expenditure and apply resources to priority programmes.
He stressed that the recent approval of the supplementary budget by Parliament gives the treasury authority to realign expenditure from non-priority to priority programmes, within the scope of the total budget approved for 2019.
“We did not request for additional resources from Parliament,” Dr. Ng’andu assured, and added that, “within the context of expenditure realignment, there are certain activities that we will sustain like those related to education, health, social welfare and other essential services.”