Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu unveiles a K106.0 billion 2020 budget

Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu unveiles a K106.0 billion 2020 budget

Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu has unveiled a K106.0 billion 2020, national budget representing32.4 percent of GDP an increase from this year’s K86.6 Billion Financial plan.

Of this amount, K72.0 billion, representing 22.0 percent of GDP will come from domestic revenues, while the balance will be raised through domestic and external financing.

Unveiling the budget in Parliament this afternoon, Dr Ng’andu said as a key strategy to stimulate economic activity, he has increased the allocation towards dismantling of arrears to K2.3 billion in 2020 from K437 million in 2019.

Further, Dr Ng’andu said Government will reduce borrowing from the domestic market to 1.1 percent of GDP from 1.4 percent of GDP in 2019.

He said Fiscal deficit is projected to reduce to 5.5 percent of GDP in 2020 from 6.5 percent in 2019, a clear demonstration of Government’s resolve to restore fiscal health and stabilize the economy.

Dr Ng’andu has proposed to spend K44.1 billion for General Public Services with notable expenditures under this category being K33.7 billion for debt obligations and K2.3 billion for dismantling of arrears to unlock the much needed liquidity in the market.

He said to empower our local authorities; he has allocated K1.2 billion for the Local Government Equalization Fund with K249.6 million allocated for the Constituency Development Fund for the implementation of projects identified by local communities to address their immediate development needs.

Dr. Ng’andu has further allocated K636.0 million towards redemption of the Eurobond, K135.0 million towards voter registration and other election related expenditures and K100.6 million for any unforeseen and unavoidable expenditures while K100.0 million has been allocated to the compensation Fund.

On Economic Affairs, the Minister has proposed propose to spend K21.8 billion under Economic Affairs function of which K10.6 billion is for road infrastructure, K1.1 billion for the Farmer Input Support Programme and K660.0 million towards the purchase of strategic food reserves.

To enhance livestock and fisheries production and productivity, the Minister has proposed to spend K225.6 million which will facilitate enhanced animal and fisheries breeding and stock improvement, disease control measures, as well as research and development among others.

He said to support the adoption of climate smart agricultural technologies; K97.9 million has been allocated for extension services for crop, livestock and fish production.

Dr Ng’andu has allocated K1.1 billion for investment in energy power infrastructure to diversify and boost the electricity generation capacity and to increase access to electricity in rural areas, he has allocated K166.3 million to the Rural Electrification Fund.

In the education sector he has proposed to spend total of K13.1 billion in 2020 increase access and improve the quality of education and skills training at all levels out of which K7.0 billion has been allocated to primary education and K2.2 billion to secondary education while for university education, he proposed to spend K2.0 billion out of which K557.0 million is for student loans.

The Finance Minister has also allocated a total of K9.4 billion to the health function representing an increase of 16 percent from the 2019 allocation.

He said of this amount, he has propose to spend K5.0 billion for primary health service delivery which includes health promotion, disease prevention and treatment, K2.9 billion has been allocated for hospital services such as curative, rehabilitative and palliative care services.

( Source: Lusaka Times )