FINANCE Minister Alexander Chikwanda will today unveil the 2015 National Budget which is estimated to be between K43 billion and K46 billion.
The 2015 budget, which will be Mr Chikwanda’s fourth but the third truly Patriotic Front (PF) one, will be debated on by Members of Parliament up to early December this year when it is supposed to be adopted ahead of its effective date of January 1 2015.
It is highly probable to be above K43 billion since the 2014 one was K42.68 billion and lower than K46 billion because under the 2015-17 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) the government projects a total budget of K45.98 billion for the year.
Of the total budget, about K34.3 billion or 18.9 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to be domestically generated revenues as the grant category shrinks to about 0.8 per cent.
The big amounts of the budget in the recent-past years have been locally financed.
As Mr Chikwanda indicated in the 2014 national budget, the government will continue with the wage freeze to try and keep the public service wage bill within manageable levels by saving about K17 billion, next year alone.
This will create more fiscal space for developmental and service delivery expenditures.
In the main, the aim is to reduce expenditure on personal emoluments as a share of domestic revenues from the current 52.5 per cent to ultimately 45.8 per cent in 2017.
Going by the provision of the MTEF and other documents from Ministry of Finance, including the Revised Sixth National Development Plan, it is clear that the Activity-Based Budgeting will be abandoned in
preference for Output Based Budgeting which looks at the actual deliverables expected on the ground.
In sectoral terms, the economic affairs is yet again expected to take up a big chunk of the allocations with the road infrastructure likely to account for a large part, what with the Link Zambia 8000 and other on-going major road works.
Following the increase in the number of farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to 1,000 per year, that programme will also take up a major portion of the resources in this category. Not forgetting the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) allocation!
Times of Zambia