Chikwanda launches budgeting policy

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Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda says the national planning and budgeting policy is aimed at affording people an opportunity to contribute and participate in the planning of the economy.

Mr Chikwanda said in a statement released to ZANIS that the launch of the first ever policy yesterday was a platform for the inclusiveness of citizens in issues of national development.

He said the policy will also give more practical meaning to parliament’s oversight role in the process of enhancing transparency and accountability.

Mr Chikwanda said the Act when enacted by parliament will not only make it legally binding for programmes in the national development plans and national budgets to be firmly interlinked but also make the processes effective operational tools for implementing and actualizing national development plans.

He observed that over the years there have not been adequate comprehensive and coherent guidelines to anchor national planning that is firmly linked to the budget process.

The Finance Minister said a major thrust of the policy was to arrest fragmentation of the key facets of the planning processes at all levels of government.

Mr Chikwanda said the policy spells mechanisms for ensuring that the programmes and projects are thoroughly assessed through a comprehensive appraisal system to determine likely returns on investment and impact on beneficiaries.

He said the policy has also entrenched key tenets of public financial management with a view to further reinforce transparency in the allocation, execution and accounting for development results.

Mr Chikwanda said national budgets to this effect will be prepared and presented in a result oriented manner to accord an opportunity to oversight institutions like parliament, Auditor General’s office including non state actors to effectively track performance and hold implementing institutions accountable.