The Zambian Government has released a total of K15.5 billion in March 2023 for the purpose of financing public service delivery.
Finance and National Planning Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane has observed that Zambia’s budget implementation credibility has now been restored, as all budgeted programmes are now being funded, considerably.
Of the K15.5 billion released, K5 billion was spent on transfers, subsidies, and social benefits, whilst K5.1 billion went towards debt service (domestic and external) and dismantling of arrears, and K3.6 billion was spent on the public service wage bill. K1.3 billion was released for implementation of various government programmes and general operations, while K534.9 million was spent on road infrastructure.
From the K5.1 billion released for debt service and dismantling of arrears, K2.9 billion went towards both domestic and external debt payments. From the K5.1 billion, the component related to dismantling of arrears for suppliers of fuel, goods, and services, got K2.2 billion.
Under the K5 billion released towards transfers and subsidies, notable expenditure items included K2.4 billion to clear invoices related to the procurement of inputs for the 2022/2023 farming season under the Farmer Input Support Programme, K665.5 million for Community Projects under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), K569.1 million for the nationwide Social Cash Transfer Programme, K313.6 million for the operations of hospitals and other grant-aided institutions under various Ministries, K308.3 million for the Food Security Pack (FSP), K185.6 million for the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) for pensioners financing gap and grant, K115.1 million for university grants to ensure smooth operations, and K111.6 million to the Local Government Equalization Fund.
The Government also released K1.3 billion to facilitate service delivery under various public institutions.
Notable expenditure items included K436.7 million for the procurement of drugs, medical supplies and equipment in agencies under the Ministry of Health, K360.4 million for general operations of Ministries, Provinces and Agencies (MPA’s), K43.6 million for TAZAMA workers’ salaries, and K534.9 million towards road infrastructure.
The Government has commenced preparations for the 2024 National Budget and the 2024 to 2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning will be conducting broad-based consultations on the 2024 Budget and the 2024 to 2026 MTEF.
The general public, private sector players (micro, small, medium and large firms, inclusive), Government departments and agencies, civil society, youth, women, and all other interest groups (too numerous to mention) are hereby invited to submit tax, non-tax (such as user fees and fines) and expenditure proposals for review and possible inclusion in the 2024 National Budget and the 2024 to 2026 MTEF.
The Ministry is confident that the provided period of up to 28th April 2023 will create considerable room for citizens and all other stakeholders to actively participate in the formulation of the 2024 Budget and the 2024 to 2026 MTEF. The participation of all national-level stakeholders in the budget formulation process is essential to ensure that the Government and stakeholders move together in creating a conducive policy environment for business; employment creation; generation of wealth; and facilitating a sustainable future for all citizens and prosperity for the nation.