A former budget analyst at the ministry of finance Felix Nkulukusa said the 2019 National budget which was read by honorable Margaret Mwanakatwe in parliament had highlighted more of the expenditure side than the revenue side.
Mr. Nkulukusa said this during a public discussion that was held under the theme, “What the 2019 budget is not saying,”at The University of Zambia spearheaded by the University of Zambia Business and Economics Association (UNZABECA).
Mr. Nkulukusa said the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had fallen during the 2008 general increase in prices (inflation) and has not recovered since.
“GDP fell at an estimated 6.3 percent in 2008 and was stable till 2014 where it fell from 7.1 percent to 3.6 percent and has since been low and the GDP has not managed to rise since,” said Nkulukusa.
Meanwhile, UNZABECA Vice President, Chazya Sinyangwe said that reason for a poor GDP count is policy inconsistency in the government.
Sinyangwe said that the poverty levels in Zambia are at 54 percent and this is because of having political policies as a priority at the expense of economic policies.
however, an analyst, Dr Aubrey Muyeke Chibumba said that the current budget is not an improvement of the previous budget because it had no revenue side.
Dr. Chibumba questioned as to why Zambian is still on 18 percent GDP wise as compared to other countries. He further advised that the government needs to address the tax structure to improve the country’s GDP.
And Betty Mutambo, Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) Director said that the theme for the budget is appropriate but implementation is wrong.
Ms. Mutambo said the cost of living is high, new taxes are being implemented but salaries of workers are not being increased and the government should work on restoring macro-stability, fiscal fitness for sustained inclusive growth and development.
In attendance at the event, was the NDP, World Bank, GIZ, OXFAM International, University of Zambia HOD and CS-POG among others.