GOVERNMENT has raised K15.4 billion, out of which K11 billion was from domestic tax and non-tax revenue sources. A total of K4.4 billion was from the issuance of treasury bills and government bonds and K697.7 million from foreign grants for both budget and project support. Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has disclosed that K15.4 billion was released for development programmes, social services and to facilitate government operations in the ministries, provinces and spending agencies. “Expenditure for six months (January to June) is equal to the revenues which were mobilised and this means that the budget was balanced,” Mr Yamba said. He said a total of K1.2 billion was released for debt service payments and K673.2 million went towards payments of interest on government bonds and treasury bills while the balance of K574.2 million went towards external debt service payments. Mr Yamba said K9 billion was released to ministries, provinces and spending agencies for operations and development programmes, among them construction and maintenance, Zesco power rehabilitation and for outstanding bills under the Farmer Input Support Programme. He said other notable expenditure included K1 billion transfers to grant-aided institutions such as the Zambia Revenue Authority, road agencies and universities. “It is important to stress that the Government makes resources available under the contingency budget line to cater for all unforeseen and unavoidable expenditures, including by-elections,” Mr Yamba said. He said K90.1 million was allocated and approved by Parliament as contingency provision for 2013. The treasury is confident that Government will implement the 2013 budget within the broad categories approved by Parliament, he said. Mr Yamba said as per established global treasury management practices, the Ministry of Finance will make expenditure realignments and ensure that prudent actions are undertaken to achieve the objectives of the 2013 budget. Mr Yamba said where any expenditure realignments are deemed inevitable, ministries, provinces and spending agencies will be required to work within adjusted budgetary provisions, authorised by the treasury, to ensure that key government programmes for 2013 are implemented prudently. “The key lesson learnt from budget performance in the first six months of 2013 points to the need to enhance the implementation of development programmes to accelerate the benefits of improved public service delivery,” Mr Yamba said. He said the treasury would continue to closely monitor and evaluate budget and economic affairs to ensure that national development programmes were on course. “I take this opportunity to encourage all ministries, provinces and spending agencies to continue promoting best practices and ensuring sustained transparency and accountability in the use of public resources for general improvement in the well-being of the people of Zambia,” Mr Yamba said.