Finance and National Planning Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane says in 2023, the Government will continue to build on the gains made in public resource management and economic governance as a way of ensuring that the people of Zambia benefit from the fruits of economic transformation. The Minister says one of Government’s focus areas in 2023 is to enhance commitment to implementation of programmes and ensure that the budget performance is not impaired.
“We all need to be diligent and steadfast in executing our tasks – delays in programme implementation have an impact on our transformation agenda. We have to deal with that this year so that we attain substantial developmental progress by attaining our budget targets” he said.
Dr. Musokotwane has called on ministries and public agencies with programmes that are scheduled to commence after the rain season to ensure that administrative preparations are made ahead of time so that project implementation is on schedule, immediately the rain ceases.
We now take this opportunity to brief the nation that in January, 2023, the Treasury released K12.4 billion to finance public service delivery. Of this amount, K3.6 billion went to the public service wage bill whilst K3.5 billion was spent on debt service (domestic and external), and other liabilities. Releases to transfers, subsidies and social benefits amounted to K2.4 billion, out of which notable expenditure items included:
K635.6 million for the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) financing gap and grant. This is aimed at sustaining the payment of pension dues to retired public service workers;
K427.7 million for grants to schools to support the free education policy;
K342.1 million for the operations of Public Hospitals and other Grant Aided Institutions (GAIs);
K217.9 million for the secondary schools & skills development bursaries component under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds who have qualified to go to boarding secondary schools and for skills development for youths who wish to obtain long-term life skills;
K209.9 for the Social Cash Transfer Programme;
K115.1 million for operations of public universities;
K111.6 million for the Local Government Equalization Fund to support operations of local councils; and
K100 million for the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) to help pay dues to retired local authority workers.
The K2.4 billion released for implementation of various Government programmes and general operations, covered the following notable expenditure items included:
K4 million for the land titling project. This is a key intervention in ensuring that citizens are empowered through officially titled land;
K436.7 million for the procurement of drugs, medical supplies and equipment; and,
K1.8 billion for general operations of Government Ministries, Provinces and Agencies (MPAs).
The Treasury also released a sum of K524.8 million towards capital projects of which, K303.6 million was spent on road infrastructure, while the balance of K221.2 million went towards water, education and health infrastructure projects.
In line with the Government’s commitment to reduce indebtedness, a sum of K3 billion was released towards the payment of both domestic debt and external debt (multilaterals). Furthermore, the Treasury released K464 million towards dismantling of arrears to suppliers of goods, services and fuel. The Government also spent K3.6 billion on costs relating to the wage bill for various public service workers.
As stated by the Minister of Finance and National Planning on several occasions, Ministries, Provinces and Public Agencies (MPAs) should ensure that funds released by the treasury are utilised on budgeted programmes – in a timely, efficient and effective manner.
“We have a duty to the people of Zambia to achieve the economic transformational objectives outlined in the budget and the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP). To do this, the timely and efficient implementation of budgeted programmes is cardinal,” states Dr Musokotwane.