The Ministry of Finance has disclosed that it will deliver the 2021 national budget on September 25, 2020, in accordance with part 16 article 202 (1) and (3) of the Constitution of Zambia before National Assembly.
In a press release made available to the Lusaka Star, Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Chileshe Kandetta said Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu remains focused on preparing and presenting the budget.
He said that all officials that are involved in the preparation process have been directed to deeply reflect on the assignment and implement well-structured engagement programmes.
Mr. Kandetta stated that this would ensure that all inputs, assumptions and scenarios are analysed in a critical, innovative, professional and diligent manner in order to produce a budget that takes care of the socio-economic well-being of the Zambian people.
“In the intervening period, the Inter Ministerial Tax Policy Review Committee (TPRC) compromising experts in direct taxes, mining matters, customs and excise and value added tax and the Inter Ministerial Non-Tax Policy Review Committee (NTPRC) compromising experts from all revenue generating ministries and agencies, will be finalising their assessment of proposals and recommendations to arrive at the best possible revenue generation measures for the 2021 national budget,” he said.
He added that the Ministry of Finance will also be engaging the Clerk of the National Assembly and Smart Zambia Institute to explore ways in which the usage of Information Communication Technology resources could be optimised for the budget presentation and post budget activities.
Mr. Kandetta further reviewed that in line with the 2021-2023 medium term expenditure framework and national budget, the ministry had received 382 submissions from various stakeholders.
This followed the interventions recently made by President Edgar Lungu when he called upon the business community to engage the Ministry of Finance and make submissions on developmental, tax and non-tax measures.
The response from the public is impressive because the submissions are generally in line with our commitment to promote an open, inclusive, participatory and transparent preparation processes that promotes citizen ownership of the national budget,he said.
He added that the majority of the proposals focused on agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, tourism and mining sectors.
Mr. Kandetta further clarified on recent media allegations by certain news sources that reported that the World Bank had halted Budget support to Zambia.
“To start with, Zambia does not get budget support from the World Bank. At this point, we have also not yet applied for the budget support from the World Bank therefore halting, rejection or stoppage is not applicable,” Mr Kandetta said.
He said the Ministry is currently getting project support from the World Bank and Zambia was this June availed a new window under the Indstrial Development Association (IDA19).
He emphasized that the Ministry of Finance will continue to engage frequently, local and external partners in order to improve information exchange on matters of mutual socio-economic interest.