We have a budget deficit of over K13 billion Kwacha, prepare for more hardship –Chikwanda tells parley

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has told Parliament that the country has a budget deficit of over 13 billion kwacha.
Presenting a midyear budget review statement to parliament Tuesday afternoon, Chikwanda attributed the deficit to the drop in copper prices on the international market, higher external debt servicing and reduction in the mine taxis among many other reasons
Chikwanda said government will have to reduce on travel expenditure and limit the opening of new foreign missions but rejected a suggestion from Luena Member of Parliament Mwambwa Imenda to reduce the size of cabinet arguing that reducing cabinet will defeat the one Zambia one nation commitment because a small cabinet will not be representative of the country.
Chikwanda also revealed that there will be no more funding of new capital projects save for the ones already approved.
He said the reasons that led to the deficit could not be avoided and appealed to Zambians to brace themselves for increased difficulties because the global economic outlook was not positive.
Chikwanda said the bad economy was not unique to Zambia and stressed that other big economies were facing problems as well.
Luena Member of Parliament Mwambwa Imenda wondered why the fiscal situation was so bad yet in 2008 and 2009 when the global economy was in recession the situation in Zambia was not this bad to which Chikwanda responded that the global economy was in a crisis and promised to show her an article in one magazine indicating the crisis.

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