GOVERNMENT has increased allocation to the social cash transfer by 700 percent leading to a rise in the number of beneficiary households from 63, 000 last year to 145, 000 in August this year, President Sata has said.
The President further said Government will table before Parliament the National Social Protection Bill which will provide a framework for pension, social health insurance and social safety nets of the citizens.
He said this when he opened the Forth Session of the National Assembly yesterday.
“Of these, 20, 000 are persons living with disabilities signifying their importance to Government’s policy of social inclusion. The programme is expected to benefit about 500, 000 households by 2016,” he said.
President Sata said the process of expanding the social cash transfer to cover the whole country is underway and that 31 more districts have been included to the scheme, bringing the total number of districts to 50 this year.
On labour and social security, Government will continue to put up programmes like the online job portal and other laws aimed at bettering the lives of the citizens.
The head of State said that unemployment is still a major challenge and to this effect Government has adopted an industrialisation and job creation strategy focusing on specific growth sectors.
He said under the empowerment fund, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission funded a total of 800 projects across the country which have created 13, 432 jobs as at June this year.
President Sata said since 2011 Government has disbursed a total of K32.6 million towards youth employment and the fund has been accessed by 759 youth-led enterprises creating about 2, 300 jobs in the informal sector.
And Government will next year empower councils with additional financial resources as a way of devolving power to the local level.
President Sata said a Local Government Equilisation fund will be established to provide a solid base for further devolution.
The President has since directed the Minister of Local Government and Housing Emmanuel Chenda, to urgently ensure that all local authorities effectively provide solid waste management services in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
President Sata said Government is also working with the private sector in closing the housing deficit through public private partnerships.
And President Sata told Parliament that Government is committed to improving the standard of living of people in rural areas by accelerating service delivery.
He said Government has continued implementing the rural electrification programme especially in newly created districts.
Government is also extending mobile communication coverage throughout Zambia.
The President said Government has in the past three years constructed and rehabilitated a total of 7,500 boreholes and six water schemes which have benefited 1.9 million people.
Meanwhile Mr Sata says Government is committed to the promotion of a free media.
He revealed that access to information bill will be tabled at an appropriate time.
Zambia Daily Mail