ZIM wants disposable income improvements in budget

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The Zambia Institute of Marketing (ZIM) wants to see the 2015 national budget provide more incentives to spur the demand for goods and services in the short term.

ZIM president Evans Muhanga expects the national budget to offer more incentives to the manufacturing and agricultural sectors in order to move the economy from a more consumption based to a productive based economy for the long term competitiveness.

Tomorrow, Minister of Finance, Alexander Chikwanda is expected to parliament.

ZANIS reports that Mr. Muhanga wants to see the 2015 national budget to spur demand for goods and services in the short term by introducing more incentives that will improve circulation of disposable income in the economy.

He stressed that the budget should promote value addition by providing incentives that will encourage opening up of industries in manufacturing and processing of agricultural products.

“From a marketing point of view as Zambia Institute of Marketing, we expect a budget with incentives that will promote foreign direct investments in setting up manufacturing plants to create more meaningful and sustainable jobs to spur disposable income for goods and services as this has a ripple effect on advertising industry for our marketing profession,” he said.

Mr. Muhanga said the marketing institution also expects a budget that will invest more in education sector, health and promotion of engineering, science and technology in order to come up with innovative products that promote entrepreneurial spirit for Zambia to compete favorably with other nations to balance imports and exports in the economy.

He further said Zambia needs to export more and import less products and services in order to stabilize the Kwacha and create more jobs in the economy.

Mr. Muhanga also suggested that the 2015 budget should balance short term and long term fiscal policy of government and monetary policy.

He added that the budget should continue to move the economy on a trajectory growth path of gross domestic product (GDP) of double digits of more than 10 percent and the monetary policy to bring down inflation to single digits below six percent.

“We expect government to give more incentives to SMEs as the growth engine of this economy,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Muhanga has urged government to broaden the tax base in the next budget by including more informal sector and government agencies such as the ZRA in coming up with mechanisms to ensure there was tax compliance and tax returns instead of relying heavily on structured formal sectors.

He noted that in order to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots in Zambia and encourage economic activities in rural areas, government needs to put in place incentives such as  reducing taxes on building materials for infrastructure development in rural areas.

 “We expect government to continue putting more money in road infrastructure, building more schools, hospitals and giving incentives for rural infrastructure for electricity and telecommunications infrastructure to open up the rural areas to business opportunities,” he explained.

 Commenting on the tourism industry, Mr. Muhanga said government should loosen up on issuance of VISAs so that the country can have more tourists and improve infrastructure and product development to tourist sites which have been under marketed in Zambia.

He cited sites such as Kalambo falls, Ntumbachushi falls, Lumangwe falls, Kasaba bay, source of the Zambezi river in Kaleni hills and the whole northern circuit as the under marketed areas.

The ZIM president added that air link transportation is important to the tourism industry saying his institute expects jet fuel taxes to reduce in order to promote Zambia as a hub to link tourists to all the neighbouring countries and the world at large.

Mr. Muhanga has since called for speeding up of improving airports infrastructure countrywide so that the country can attract more flights from other destinations to bring in long haul tourists who would want to visit more than one country at a time.

He said ZIM further expects government to put more money in people’s pockets as a stimulus package to spend more by increasing the threshold of no PAYE tax income at K4,000 and below so that there is more disposable income.