Zambia’s Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda on Friday released the country’s 2013 budget with a pledge to ensure that measures are put in place to reorient the budget towards increasingly enhanced capital expenditure.
The Zambian Minister, during the presentation of the budget to Parliament, said it is unacceptable and unsustainable that the country’s expenditure has eclipsed the development budget.
“Steps have been in the recent past to remedy the situation and a major aim of the 2013 budget is to further re-orient the budget towards increasingly enhanced capital expenditure in a wider scope of sectors,” he said.
According to the Zambian minister, the 2013 budget is pegged at 32.2 trillion Zambian Kwacha (about 6.4 billion U.S. dollars) of which 76.8 percent will be financed by raising domestic revenue while 4.6 percent will be financed from grants from cooperating partners. The balance of 18.4 percent will be raised by external and domestic borrowing, he added.
The budget, whose theme is “Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice” intends to achieve a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of above 7.0 percent, attain end-year inflation of no more than 6.0 percent and achieve domestic revenue of at least 20 percent of GDP. Other targets includes limiting the overall fiscal deficit to 4. 3 percent of GDP, of which domestic borrowing will be 1.5 percent and maintain gross international reserves at least four months import cover. The budget also intends to create at least 200, 000 decent jobs.
The Zambian minister further said the performance of the 2012 budget had been satisfactory with domestic revenues and direct budget support being 5.5 percent above target while total domestically financed expenditure was 6 percent lower than programmed.