Cabinet Ministers have expressed happiness at the proposed 2019 national budgetary allocations by Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe, saying it was impressive and well presented.
On Friday, government unveiled a record-breaking K86.8 billion national budget for next year expected to be supported by increased tax revenues amounting to K47 billion, nearly K6 billion more than last year’s budget.
But speaking to ZNBC shortly after the budget presentation at Parliament Friday, Fisheries and Livestock Kampamba Mulenga said K5.4 billion would be adequate for implementation of programmes under her ministry.
She added that she would do her best to ensure that the monies allocated to her sector were pup to good use.
“Very well presented budget. For our sector, fisheries and livestock, we have been allocated K5.4 billion which is very adequate. After a long time, a small ruminant under my sector have actually been recognised. And this is very important for our sector especially at the time when we have the export of goats to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And also aqua culture has also been recognised as an economical driver in my sector. So as minister in charge of fisheries and livestock, I must say I’m very happy and we will do our best as a ministry to ensure that the monies that have been allocated to my sector are placed to good use,” she said.
Minister of Labour and Social Security Joyce Nonde Simukoko said she was happy that her ministry had been considered significantly in the budget.
“As you all know, we are all part of the budget as the cabinet and a lot of things were debated and we agreed on what has been presented. I’m very happy that we have been included in the budget, that we conclude the labour code this year. And also the issues of inspection, we need about 1000 inspectors for us to cover the whole country but we only have 50. So the budget is saying [that] we should be supported so that we have as many inspectors as possible so that we can touch all the corners of Zambia where there is economic activity, where the workers are employed so that we can make sure that they are well looked after by their employers. As it is now, it has been very very difficult. So the ministry of labour has adequately been featured in the budget and it will be up to us to work hard,” said Simukoko.
And Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale said the budget was simply impressive, well thought through and full of consultation.
He added that most of the monies had been allocated to sectors that would stimulate growth in the economy.
“This budget is a very impressive one. Well thought through and full of consultation. We feel that most of the monies have gone to sectors that will stimulate growth and that growth will answer back to social inequalities that include unemployment, poverty and illiteracy. Looking at agriculture, the maputo protocol requires that all member countries invest or commit around 10 percent of their national budget to agriculture. But I think that the budget has exceeded that expectation because we are around 11 percent of the national budget, when you add livestock together with agriculture,” said Hamukale.
“Secondly, with huge investments in the area of infrastructure, tourism and these are economic sectors that answer back to the 7NDP, creating employment, reducing poverty and ensuring that all the inequalities are minimised as much as possible, bringing everyone on board. The other excellent component is that the social services sector will be stimulated. It carters for both urban and rural. And looking into the future, we feel that this is a budget that will answer back to the need of Zambia to industrialize, to manufacture. So we are extremely happy.”