Finance and National Planning Minister, Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, has revealed that the Zambian government is set to introduce a series of incentives in the 2024 national budget aimed at stimulating economic growth and increasing revenue generation.
Speaking at the National Symposium on the Proposed 2024 National Budget in Lusaka, Dr. Musokotwane emphasized the importance of these incentives across various sectors, noting that they play a crucial role in bolstering the nation’s economy while contributing to the Treasury’s financial resources.
Furthermore, Dr. Musokotwane highlighted the need for agricultural farm blocks in the country to embrace technology as a means to enhance productivity and promote increased exports of agricultural products. This move is in line with the government’s broader strategy to develop and modernize the agricultural sector.
The Finance Minister also underscored the government’s commitment to budget credibility, emphasizing that they have diligently adhered to spending limits approved by Parliament, ensuring fiscal responsibility and transparency in financial management.
Dr. Musokotwane stressed the importance of focusing on sectors where Zambia has a comparative advantage, such as agriculture and mining, to drive economic growth and sustainable development.
In addition to Dr. Musokotwane’s remarks, Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor Francis Chipimo outlined the central bank’s objectives for the coming year. He expressed the Bank’s commitment to reducing inflation from the current double-digit rate of over 12 percent to a target range of 6-8 percent. The Bank of Zambia will also maintain a flexible exchange rate regime to support the implementation of the 2024 national budget.
Dr. Chipimo further revealed plans to introduce a Credit Guarantee Scheme, designed to facilitate SMEs’ access to finance at affordable rates, a move aimed at promoting economic inclusivity and entrepreneurship.
Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General, Dingani Banda, disclosed the authority’s revenue collection goals. He stated that ZRA expects to collect 125 billion kwacha, a significant increase from the current projection of 103 billion kwacha. Value Added Tax (VAT) is expected to account for a larger portion of this revenue. Banda emphasized that ZRA’s focus has shifted towards collecting more revenue from consumption taxes rather than Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) taxes, as had been the traditional norm.
Secretary to the Treasury, Felix Nkulukusa, highlighted the 2024 national budget’s focus on addressing the rising poverty levels in the country while concurrently promoting increased investment. Mr. Nkulukusa emphasized that the government is committed to pursuing long-term economic growth rather than quick-fix solutions.
At the same event, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Zambia expressed the importance of increased investments in critical sectors such as education and health for Zambia’s sustained growth. Peter Wiebler, the USAID Zambia Head of Mission, reiterated the United States’ commitment to partnering with Zambia in implementing the 2024 budget to advance the nation’s development goals.
Dr. Musokotwane had previously presented the proposed 2024 national budget, which outlines a planned expenditure of 177.9 billion kwacha. The budget reflects the government’s comprehensive strategy to promote economic growth, reduce poverty, and enhance fiscal responsibility.