The government has scaled up social protection services to ensure sustained and continued protection of vulnerable households.
Minister of Finance Situmbeko Musokotwane said government has increased the beneficiaries under the Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCT) in 2022 to over one million from 880,539 beneficiaries as at the end of August 2021.
Dr. Musokotwane said this when he delivered the 2022 National Budget in Parliament yesterday.
He said in 2022 the transfer per value household will be increased from K150 to K200 per month.
The minister further said for households with a severely disabled member, the transfer value will be increased from K300 to K400 per month.
Dr. Musokotwane explained that the Social Cash Transfer Programme has been characterized by high administration costs, delayed payments and misappropriation.
He stated that government will improve and strengthen the payment mechanisms and oversight mechanisms of the programme in order to address the challenges.
Dr. Musokotwane said with regards to the Food Security Pack Programme, the number of beneficiaries will be increased to 290,000 households in 2022 from 263,700 as at end of August 2021.
He said the programme is targeted at the vulnerable but viable farmer households.
The minister further said other social protection interventions that will be scaled up include the Girls Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood Programme, Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, Public Welfare Assistance Scheme, and Child Welfare Programmes.
Meanwhile, Dr. Musokotwane announced that government will dismantle all outstanding pension benefit arrears for retired public service workers amounting to K1.2 billion in order to safeguard their livelihoods.
“Government will curtail the accumulation of arrears going forward and to make the pension system financially sustainable and provide security to retirees, government will review and amend relevant legislation such as the Public Service Pensions Act Cap 260 of the laws of Zambia, Local Authorities Superannuation Fund Act Cap 284 of the Laws of Zambia and the Pension Scheme Regulation Act No.27 of the Laws of Zambia.