HONE SIAME, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has doubled funding for pensioners from K805 million to K1.66 billion to alleviate the plight of retirees.
And Government has set aside K11.5 billion for external and domestic debt servicing.
Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said the significant increase demonstrates Government’s commitment to honouring its financial obligations.
He said the funds will reduce the time retirees need to wait before getting their retirement packages for services they rendered to the nation.
Mr Yamba said this in a Citizens’ Budget report released by Ministry of Finance head of public relations Chileshe Kandeta.
“Government has doubled the amount allocated towards pensions from K805 million to K1.66 billion to reduce the time retirees need to wait before they get their money,” Mr Yamba said.
He said Government will spend an additional K769.1 million on drugs and medical supplies to ensure public health institutions are well stocked with the necessary drugs in line with its policy of providing quality health care services to citizens.
Mr Yamba said the K769.1 million is part of the K8 billion allocated to the health sector in the 2017 national budget.
“We will spend a total of K5.8 billion on health care. This will allow Government to buy medicines, medical supplies and employ more medical personnel such as nurses and doctors. The Government will also open up cancer screening centres in each province,” Mr Yamba said.
As at May this year, Zambia’s external debt was US$7.2 billion, with domestic debt estimated at K38.8 billion.
Mr Yamba said K3.3 billion will also be spent to pay companies that have supplied Government goods and services.