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CTPD Outlines Expectations for 2024 National Budget, Focusing on Extractives and Agriculture Sectors

As Zambia eagerly anticipates the unveiling of the 2024 National Budget, the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) is actively preparing to play its pivotal role in shaping the country’s economic path. CTPD has articulated its expectations for the forthcoming fiscal year, with a particular spotlight on two crucial sectors: Extractives and Agriculture.

In a statement Issued by Natalie Kaunda, CTPD Programmes Coordinator In the Extractives Sector, CTPD is looking forward to an increased allocation of government funds to the mining industry. Historically, the Ministry of Mines has received limited funding for its operations, impeding the growth of the mining sector. CTPD’s expectation is for a significant financial boost, specifically directed towards geological mapping. 

Inadequate funding for the Geological Survey Department (GSD) has hindered efforts to fully comprehend the extent of Zambia’s mineral wealth. Given the sector’s potential to substantially contribute to Zambia’s prosperity, proper resourcing is deemed essential.

CTPD also anticipates the introduction of clear initiatives and strategies aimed at supporting artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM). The formalization of the ASM sub-sector is a persistent priority, and CTPD looks forward to the government outlining practical steps to achieve this goal in the 2024 budget. In light of the global shift towards cleaner energy sources, Zambia’s possession of valuable critical minerals is of great significance. Therefore, CTPD expects the 2024 National Budget to include strategies that harness these resources to propel the country into the era of energy transition.

In the Agriculture sector, CTPD foresees the launch and implementation of the Comprehensive Agriculture Transformation Strategy and Plan (CATSP) in the 2024 budget. This initiative will play a vital role in allocating resources for crop production and infrastructure development within the agriculture sector. Furthermore, CTPD expects the government to announce measures aimed at reducing the cost of essential agricultural inputs.

Efforts to address the Value Added Tax (VAT) gap, which remains well above 20 percent, are also expected. CTPD anticipates measures to enhance VAT compliance and enforcement, particularly in addressing VAT claims across various industries.

The strengthening of the devolution plan, with close coordination between the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and relevant line ministries and stakeholders, is another area of expectation, with a focus on resourcing for effective implementation.

Lastly, CTPD acknowledges the challenges facing the energy sector, including limited funding. The government’s promotion of private-public partnerships to attract much-needed investment in this critical sector is highly anticipated.

The 2024 National Budget represents a significant opportunity to shape Zambia’s economic future, and CTPD is dedicated to engaging constructively with the government and stakeholders for the benefit of all Zambians.

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