Financial Experts have applauded the New Dawn administration for making adjustments to the National budget which aims at providing economic growth.
Speaking in an interview with Lusaka star, Financial Economist, Bright Chizonde said some key policy changes includes an increase in the Gross Domestic product (GDP) growth rate target from 4.0 percent in 2023 to 4.8 percent in 2024 and increased domestic resource mobilisation target from 20.9 percent to 22 percent.
Mr. Chizonde said the increased allocation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) from K4.4 billion in the 2023 budget to K4.8 billion in the 2024 budget is also commendable because it will help bring about development.
“Though this was expected, given the high public interest in the CDF, there is need to improve the efficiency and absorption capacity of the programme,” Mr.Chizonde explained.
He added that the 2024 National budget also proposes to introduce a levy on mobile money transactions ranging from K0.08 to K1.8 depending on the value of the transaction.
“Though this is commendable as it is going to widen the tax base by capturing more people from the informal economy, it will also discourage the use of digital financial services,” he added.
He further said that the 2024 National budget is therefore largely progressive and is posed to build on the economy transformation agenda of the United Party for National Development (UPND) administration.
“It is my hope that the budget will be implemented effectively in order to unlock Zambia’s economic potential,” he said.
Meanwhile, an Economist Trevor Hambayi said the Minister of Finance has done a good job by trying to put the National budget together by focusing on factors that will help grow the economy.
“Positively, as the country we can see that the component of debt has been reduced making it a very big policy because we are restructuring and trying to make a foundation,” Mr. Hambayi said.
He however said that the Macro economical objectives are too low to be able to deal with the country’s challenges like the current high cost of living.
“Therefore, government should be looking at how they can be able to accelerate the rate at which we are driving economical growth because that is what’s going to change the dynamic as of living in Zambia,” he said.
Finance and National Planning Minister Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane announced that government plans to spend almost 177.9 Billion Kwacha in 2024.