Enact budget and planning Act, Government urged

AS ZAMBIA embarks on the economic recovery programme, Government has been urged to enact the Budget and Planning Act to provide guidance on practical steps to ensure adherence to expenditure.
The Act will enable Government minimise on financial losses and thereby, attain economic stability to allow for the private sector to grow and facilitate for job creation.
Civil Society Poverty Observatory Group (CSPOG) chairperson Chenai Mukumba said during a media briefing on the State of the Economy analysis recently that the group comprises of Centre for Trade Policy and Development, Action Aid Zambia and the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre.
Others include Cuts International, Oxfam, Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council, Water Aid and Civil Society for Poverty Reduction.
“For 2017, the economic growth is forecasted to rise to about four percent. Increased positive economic growth is needed to facilitate poverty reduction and achieve sustainable development. Bold and decisive economic reforms will be required to translate economic growth to long-term benefits for the Zambian people.
“There has been an increased trend of abuse of public finances as revealed by the Auditor General’s report, which shows a rise in irregularities in payments from K26 million in 2014 to K115 million 2015,” Ms Mukumba said.
She, however, said Zambia’s goals to consolidate fiscal growth may not be met as Government still has ambitious expenditure plans with limited revenue generating measures.
“It is commendable that Government plans on protecting the most vulnerable in society through its expenditure plans and that it has also set out more diversification measures to help reduce our reliance on copper mining.
“However, there is still need to adequately raise more Government revenues to provide the necessary public services that will help develop the country and deal with the high poverty rates and rising inequality. We see the need to prioritise the above sectors to facilitate poverty reduction,” Ms Mukumba said.

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