HONE SIAME, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has set aside K1.6 billion to go towards offsetting retirement benefits for former public service workers to mitigate their plight.
Ministry of Finance permanent secretary in charge of budget and
economic affairs Pamela Kabanba says Government has prioritised payment of retirees.
Ms Kabamba said the social protection sector will continue receiving serious attention from Government to alleviate the plight of retirees.
She was speaking in Lusaka on Wednesday during a meeting with civil society organisations at the ministry.
“We have K1.6 billion that is going to pension payment to cover the pensioners,” Ms Kabamba.
She said the allocation of the K1.6 billion demonstrates Government’s commitment to paying the dues to the pensioners.
She said Government is working out measures to increase budgetary allocation to the social cash transfer programme to ensure more people benefit from the pro-poor empowerment scheme.
“On social protection, the number we are looking for in the budget is more than the K1 billion that was indicated because it basically covers the social cash transfer that stands at K552 million in the 2017 budget, and we have K1.6 billion to cover the pensioners,” Ms Kabamba said.
She said Government has put in place various empowerment programmes under the social protection being implemented by various ministries, aimed at improving the welfare of citizens across the country.
“We are also looking at protecting allocations to deal with education, health, and water and sanitation,” Ms Kabamba said.
Government has allocated K2.69 billion in the 2017 national budget towards social protection.