Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda has unveiled a 53.14 billion Kwacha national budget for 2016.
Presenting the budget under the theme” Fiscal Consolidation to safeguard our past achievements and secure a prosperous future for all” in parliament this afternoon, Mr. Chikwanda stated that the budget represents 25.8 percent of the country’s GDP, Gross Domestic Product.
The budget shows an increase of about 6.4 billion Kwacha to the 46.7 billion Kwacha national budget for 2015.
Mr. Chkwanda stated that the 2016 national budget will be financed through domestic revenue at 42.11 billion Kwacha and grants from cooperating partners of 550 million Kwacha.
He further explained that financing will comprise 6.07 billion Kwacha in the net external financing representing 2.9 per cent of GDP and net domestic borrowing of 1.75 billion Kwacha representing -point zero nine per cent of GDP.
Meanwhile Mr. Chikwanda announced that government has allocated 7.9 million Kwacha to cover costs of the 2016 tripartite elections and the constitution making process while 19.2 million Kwacha will be spent on general public services.
Five hundred and thirty-six point two million Kwacha has been allocated to the sinking fund to allow the government have the capacity to pay back the Euro bond debt.
Mr. Chikwanda also says that 13.2 billion Kwacha will be spent on economic affairs functions with notable allocations of 6.6 billion Kwacha for road infrastructure and 4.6 billion Kwacha for rehabilitation and upgrading of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and establishment of a new national airline.
Nine point one billion Kwacha has been allocated towards education and skills development, 56.7 million Kwacha for irrigation projects, 750 million Kwacha for procurement of maize by FRA, the Food Reserve Agency and 5 million Kwacha for establishment of fisheries development fund.
One hundred and eighty-seven point five million Kwacha has been allocated to CEEC, 150 million Kwacha to the action plan on youth employment and empowerment and 35.7 million Kwacha to the women economic empowerment fund while youth skills training and development has been allocated 49.5 million Kwacha.
One hundred and eighteen point three million Kwacha has gone towards the rural electrification programme to facilitate rural access to electricity.
And Mr. Chikwanda indicated that to ensure equitable access to quality health care, he was proposing to spend 4.4 billion Kwacha.
Seven hundred and fifty-four million Kwacha of this money will go towards procurement of drugs and medical supplies while 340.7 million Kwacha will be for completion of on-going health infrastructure development.
The allocation also includes 73.8 million Kwacha for recruitment of frontline health personnel and 6.3 million Kwacha for establishment of national social insurance scheme.