JCTR welcomes 2015 budget with reservations
Mr Makaha charged that while announcing the executive proposal, the Minister of Finance affirmed that Zambia’s external debt was at US$4.7 billion while domestic debt stands at K21.9 billion, adding that JCTR is of the view that the minister is taking an over-simplified approach over his assurance that the nation’s debt contraction is within the country’s debt sustainability levels.
“For the PF, the self-reinforcing appetite to contact debt through the commercial loans is merely an expedient avenue for avoiding the pain-staking work of understanding local revenue mobilization through informal sector taxation and sealing mining revenue haemorrhage,” Mr Makaha said.
He also expressed worry at the amount of money allocated to the constitution making process amounting to K29.3 million alleging that the government has no desire to complete the exercise before 2016 General Elections.
Mr Makaha notes that the idea reflects the Patriotic Front (PF)’s conscious to go into the 2016 elections with the subsisting constitution under the misconception of the assumption that the current constitution is politically favourable and expedient.
“We urge policy formulators, advisors and implementers alike to address the challenges affecting public service delivery in education, health and water and sanitation sectors,” he said.
Mr Makaha said JCTR is concerned that nearly all the districts, cities and municipalities in Zambia are experiencing erratic water supplies, adding that the situation has become a norm rather than an exception.
He appealed to government to prioritize the expansion and improvement of quality water supply by way of a pragmatic intervention to address the looming crisis in the wake of rapid population and city growth in Zambia.