Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, the Minister of Finance and National Planning in Zambia, outlined the government’s strategies for implementing the ambitious 2024 National Budget.
The budget, totaling K177.9 billion, is expected to be funded from domestic revenues, grants from cooperating partners, and borrowing, with key focus areas aimed at unlocking Zambia’s economic potential.
The Minister highlighted that the 2024 budget is designed to address crucial objectives, including achieving a real GDP growth rate of at least 4.8 percent, reducing inflation to the 6-8 percent target band, maintaining international reserves, increasing domestic revenue, reducing fiscal deficit, and limiting domestic borrowing.
Under the theme of Economic Transformation & Job Creation, K40 billion has been allocated for sectors such as road construction and maintenance, agriculture, fisheries, and livestock. The Minister emphasized the importance of empowering citizens and encouraged the utilization of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) bursaries to ensure children’s education.
The Human and Social Development pillar, with a budget of K60 billion, focuses on areas like education, health, housing, and community amenities. The Minister disclosed plans for recruiting teachers, supporting free education policies, and enhancing health services.
Environmental Sustainability is allocated K1.4 billion to implement environmental protection programs and build resilience against climate change, including the installation of 50 automatic weather stations.
Good Governance Environment measures include reducing the budget deficit, enhancing tax compliance through technology, and considering a unified Tax Administration Act.
Minister Musokotwane assured citizens of empowerment and business facilitation interventions, with detailed provisions for CDF community projects, youth empowerment, skills development, and various funds supporting social and economic sectors.
To support the budget, the Minister outlined revenue measures across different tax types, including adjustments to income tax, customs and excise duties, and value-added tax. He also presented an Annual Borrowing Plan of K33.3 billion, emphasizing that new external loans would be restricted to concessional terms.
Development Cooperation, involving grants from cooperating partners and ongoing engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is expected to contribute to the successful implementation of the budget.
The Minister concluded by expressing confidence in Zambia’s economic potential, calling for support from citizens to ensure the smooth implementation of the 2024 budget. The government’s commitment to growth, productivity, and prudent financial management remains at the forefront of their economic agenda for the year.