Yamba dispels rumours of budget overrun

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Government has raised KR10 billion in terms of tax, non-tax, and grant revenue for the period January to May 2013, while expenditure for the same period totalled KR12.8 billion.


Secretary to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba, said this represented an execution rate of 41.5 per cent against an approved budget of KR32.2 billion.


Mr Yamba said the performance of the 2013 budget has been impressive, dispelling rumours that it has degenerated into an over-run.


“From January to May 2013, government only spent KR12.8 billion from the KR32.2 billion budget of which, first quarter expenditure amounted to KR8.1 billion and in the last two months, an additional KR4.75 billion has been spent. How, then can there be an over-run,” wondered Mr Yamba.


He disclosed that government projected to spend K2.63 billion to facilitate various programmes and activities approved in the 2013 budget, but as at the end of April, a total of K2.8 billion was funded, representing 7.3 per cent above target.


Mr Yamba said the difference between revenue and expenditure was bridged by domestic borrowing through government bonds and treasury bills, within the levels approved by Parliament for the 2013 budget.


According to a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today, the secretary to the treasury was speaking on issuance of the latest treasury information brief.


He explained that of the releases made over this period, 42 per cent went toward facilitating statutory and contractual obligations such as debt service and the payment of salaries and wages in a bid to facilitate service delivery.


Mr Yamba stated that 58.5 per cent balance of the releases enabled the provision of goods and services through the various government departments which included KR257 billion toward payments to retirees under the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF), KR1.6 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of road and rail infrastructure, KR365.8 billion for electricity distribution and KR106 billion for the facilitation of affordable credit to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s).


He also stated that government expected to raise KR2.55 billion from taxes and non-taxes in April, 2013, but receipts amounted to K2.61 billion due to higher collections from Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and trade taxes.


Mr Yamba added that revenues and grants collected in May amounted to KR2.1 billion and were above the projected target by KR131 million.


Mr Yamba noted that the treasury faced timing challenges in terms of revenue inflows and expenditure demands towards the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the current quarter, particularly in facilitating the UNWTO activities and the funding requirements for the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).


“The higher than programmed releases in April were occasioned by expenditure pressures, particularly for oil procurement. Under constitutional and statutory expenditure, K847.2 million was spent on payment of salaries, wages and emoluments for constitutional office holders in April, 2013. K120.3 million was spent on domestic debt service related to government bonds and Treasury Bills, while K100.9 million went towards external debt.


“K1.75 billion was spent on operations and programmes in Ministries, Provinces and other Spending Agencies (MPSAs) of which K51.4 million was allocated to pensions. Other notable expenditure in April included K164.20 million for road construction and maintenance, K48 million for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), K18 million for compensation and awards, and K6 million for drafting of the Zambian Constitution. Incidentally, the K20 million budgeted in 2013 for drafting the constitution has been exhausted” he said.


Meanwhile, Mr Yamba said the treasury also facilitated several unbudgeted for activities during the month of April 2013.


He said these include K652.56 million to facilitate payments for fuel procurement, K85.44 million for the UNWTO capital projects and K26.3 million for seed suppliers arising from the re-planting exercise necessitated by the army worm attack in December 2012, and K6.24 million to cater for the shortfall for the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).