Finance Ministry starts 2014 Budget preparations

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THE Ministry of Finance has commenced preparations for the 2014 National Budget and the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) with a call for an all-inclusive participation as the process is non-partisan.
Secretary to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba said the process was a pragmatic search for tax and non-tax policy proposals, which will foster sustainable revenue generation, accelerated growth, and employment creation.
He said the consultation period ending July, 31, this year had been set to ensure that all citizens, including the youth, women groups, the private sector, and other interest groups participate in the formulation of the 2014 Budget and the 2014 to 2016 MTEF.
“We are making steady progress but to facilitate broader consultations, members of the public are  invited to submit proposals for Tax and Non-Tax Revenue Policy for the 2014 Budget,” he said.
Mr Yamba said the Ministry would ensure citizen ownership of the 2014 Budget and encouraged interested groups to ensure that internal peer consultations were conducted.
He said this in a statement issued by Ministry of Finance public relations officer Chileshe Kandeta in Lusaka yesterday.
He said it was the ministry’s view that peer-level, internal and open consultations among stakeholders were made.
Stakeholders should include the Zambia National Farmers Unions (ZNFU), the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM), the Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI), Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA).
Others are the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), and the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ).
The proposals submitted to the ministry should meet some criteria including, clearly outlined proposed measures with justification and expected outcomes and proposals on improvement of tax administration.
Mr Yamba said submissions must clearly outline challenges in current statutes and justify expected improved outcomes, especially in revenue collection.