THE Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) has called for fiscal discipline as Government agencies implement the K42.68 billion National Budget for 2014. ZICA chief executive officer Hampenga Kabeta said in an interview at the weekend that prudent financial management in implementing the 2014 National Budget was key to ensuring economic growth and sustainability in the year. In referring to reports of financial flaws that characterised the implementation of the K32 billion 2013 National Budget, Mr Kabeta said effective resource management would help Government reduce on unnecessary borrowing. “The core to effective budget management is fiscal discipline and this obviously translates into reduced borrowing both domestically and from overseas sources. “The budget has highlighted significant fund allocations across all sectors and the onus is upon the stakeholders to ensure prudent resource control for effective policy implementation,” Mr Kabeta said. He said ZICA was happy with provisions like the increase in the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) exemption threshold from K2, 200 in 2013 to K3, 000 next year. “In our budget proposals, we urged Government to increase the PAYE threshold to at least K2, 750 from K2, 200, and the pronouncement that this will now stand at K3, 000 is positive as it lifts the pressure off the workers in formal employment,” he said. Mr Kabeta said the institute was happy with the K8.61 billion allocated towards the growth of the education sector, which is a priority segment in fostering economic development in any country. Last Friday, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda presented the 2014 National Budget to Parliament under the theme ‘Moving Forward to Consolidate Growth and Social Justice in Peace and Unity’.