GOVERNMENT has released K1.6 billion to various ministries and statutory agencies, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has said.
The Treasury released the funds between June 30 and July 4, this year so as to stay on course with realignment of public expenditure from predominantly consumption to capital, poverty reduction and employment creation activities.
In a statement released yesterday by Ministry of Finance Public Relations officer, Chileshe Kandeta, Mr Yamba said some of the ministries, provinces, and other spending statutory agencies that received funding were Local Government and Housing, Education, Health, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Home Affairs, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Defence, and Foreign Affairs.
Others are the Judiciary, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), Public Service Pensions Fund, Public Service Commission, the Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS), and various provinces.
The Treasury released K342.8 million for foreign currency purchases, of which K307 million went towards repayment of arrears owed to PTA Bank for fuel purchases, K35 million was shipped to Zambia’s foreign missions for staff emoluments, and K1.8 million was a scheduled external debt amortisation.
These transactions, Mr Yamba said, had a toll on the exchange rate, however, forex demand is expected to taper-off this week.
Government recapitalised the ZNBS with K165 million from proceeds of the US$1 billion sovereign bond.
Mr Yamba said the funds had significantly improved the resource base for ZNBS.
The Treasury also released K378 million to the Ministry of Education of which K240 million is for school infrastructure projects in various provinces while K10 million is an allocation for student tuition fees.
The Ministry of Health got K152.6 million for infrastructural projects, of which K95 million is targeted at capital projects and procurement of medical equipment for modernisation of health service delivery in Zambia.
The Ministry of Local Government and Housing received K43 million, of which K2 million was appropriated for construction of markets and bus stops.
Mr Yamba said the Ministry of Defence received K30 million for purchase of earth moving equipment, an important step in ensuring that the local capacity of the infrastructure sector is enhanced.
For scheduled construction of chiefs palaces, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs received K4 million towards ongoing works.
NAPSA was given K25.3 million while the Public Service Pensions Fund received K21.7 million as employers share towards June, 2014 pension contributions.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia was given K5 million for the forthcoming by-elections.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives got K60 million for crop purchases affirming Government’s commitment to the Food Reserve Agency paying farmers on time to accelerate development and poverty reduction at grass-root level.
Mr Yamba appealed for timely implementation of the programmes which have benefitted from the K1.6 billion funding, not only to maintain the positive growth of the economy, but also to ensure that the implementing agencies take advantage of rain-free weather conditions.
Mr Yamba said funds should be utilised for the intended purposes so that the results would be beneficial to Zambians and reassuring to the international community about the Government’s ability to transform the Zambian economy into one of the best in Africa.
Times of Zambia