‘It’s a business as usual budget’

‘It’s a business as usual budget’

Former Finance Minister Ng’andu Magande  has hailed government’s indication to contain borrowing to 2 percent of the GDP as outlined in the 2015 national budget.

Mr. Magande says his only hope is that this containment will include external borrowing as well.
He told Qfm news that he will have to read the whole budget speech to ascertain whether it is balanced or not.

Mr. Magande says he thinks that overall the 2015 national budget is ordinary.

And Former Commerce Minister Felix Mutati says Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has presented an incremental but not a translative national budget.

He says the national budget gives a sense of carrying on the business as usual.

Meanwhile Zambia Congress for Trade Union (ZCTU) president Leonard Hikaumba has expressed disappointment that the 2015 national budget has not touched on the issues the unions expected government to look into.

Mr. Hikaumba says one of the disappointments is that the budget has not touched on the plea of the unions that government lifts the wage freeze and increases salaries for the public service owing the prevailing economic conditions in the country.

He says unions also expected that government will make an allocation to the completion of the constitution making process and not the allocation that has been made for further consultations between government and other stakeholders on the constitution.

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) Director Leonard Chiti he was disappointed with the allocation in the health sector because there are a lot of challenges that it is facing which JCTR had hoped the 2015 budget would address.

Fr. Chiti said the allocation to the constitution making process is demoralizing as the amount allocated is minimal to complete the process.

He said the K29.3 million was not enough and that this called for lobbying for funds from various stakeholders in the country.
Fr. Chiti said the low funding will result in the delay in the constitution making process which has already dragged-on for a long time.

But  Oliver Saasa, like he has always done from the time they started referring to him as economist, praised the government for the ‘progressive’ budget. He praised all MMD budgets in the past.



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