Budget projections for 2015
Published On September 16, 2014 » 2124 Views» By Moses Kabaila Jr: Online Editor » Business, Columns, Stories
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Policy analysis1IT IS good to be back after almost a month-long break from this column while on my short-lived annual vacation, which should have gone on up to October 3.
It was, however, cut short after I was recalled to resume work, effective September 1, 2014 and I want to thank my colleague, BRIAN HATYOKA, who kept you abreast with the happenings in terms of economic policies and other economic highlights while I was off the beat.
During my absence a lot took place, major among them the Ministry of Finance’s unveiling of the proposed 2015-2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the policies for the 2015 through what is otherwise known as the green paper.
I feel it is only fair, therefore, that I delve it, particularly showing up the projections for the 2015 National Budget in which the Government proposes to spend nearly K46 billion.
From that seemingly staggering amount which would be a more than K3-billion increase on last year’s approved budget, the Government proposes that the general public service take up K11.24 billion.
This is an increase on the K10.73 billion approved for this year. Interestingly, almost half of the K11.24 billion has been projected for the servicing of both domestic and external debts to the tune of K5.28 billion.
Furthermore, from the K46 billion total budget projection, nearly K3 billion is proposed for defence and another K2.2 billion for public order and safety.
The environment protection category is earmarked for the least amount of K176.46 million up though from K165.21 million approved for this year while the housing and community amenities sector is allotted K726.15 million from K660.35 million for 2014. Among the social sector-related field, education has a lion’s share of K9.75 billion compared to K8.6 billion approved under the 2014 Budget.
A total of K4.44 billion is projected for the health sector which received K4.22 billion in this year’s budget while the recreation, culture and religion grouping has K317.84 million and K1.18 million for social protection.
The proposed amount for the economic affairs is, admittedly, the largest figure by a single category and this is as it should be.
Unlike consumptive sectors, the economic sector has a trend of sending positive ripple effects on the entire economy and ultimately affects the social sector as well.
The proposed figure is K12.88 billion.
Of that amount K3.1 billion is for the on-going road infrastructure development, K1.07 billion for strategic food reserves K626 million for local government transfers, K210 million for Constituency
Development Fund (CDF) and another K1.3 billion for Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP).
The Citizens’ Economic Fund (CEF) was assigned K57 million, K55 million for rural electrification fund, another K340 million for the railway sector and K550 million for Zesco.
Apart from the K12.88 billion which has been earmarked for 2015, under the MTEF, the government proposes to spend a further K14.4 billion in 2016 and another K16.6 billion in 2017 on economic affairs.
This translates into an average of 28.8 per cent of the overall resources which have been allocated for the medium term, and as already alluded to, is the highest figure allocated to a single sector.
The bulk of the funds, about one third or K12.7 billion, will go towards the road sector mainly through the Link Zambia 8000.
The Government further proposes to spend K4.3 billion over the medium term on the FISP to facilitate the provision of the support to one million beneficiaries annually.
A further K3.4 billion is proposed to be spent over the medium term to maintain strategic food reserves at 500,000 tonnes.
To increase power generation, transmission and distribution a total of K809 million will be allocated to Zesco over the medium term.
To further increase access to electricity especially for people in the rural areas, the Government proposes to spend a total of K169.9 million on the Rural Electrification Programme during the MTEF period.
A total of K430 million has been allocated to the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Funds for the empowerment of Zambians over the medium term to encourage and support citizens’ participation in the economy activity.
Comments: 260 0955 431442, 0977 246099, 0964 742506 or email:jmuyanwa@mail.com

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