By Brian Mwale
Finance and National Planning Minister SITUMBEKO MUSOKOTWANE says government has proposed to provide incentives in the 2024 national budget to help grow the economy.
Dr. MUSOKOTWANE says incentives in various sectors are key to growing the economy and enhancing revenue contribution to the Treasury.
And Dr. MUSOKOTWANE says there is need for farm blocks in the country to turn to technology to enhance productivity and increase agro exports.
Speaking during the National Symposium on the Proposed 2024 National Budget in Lusaka today, Dr. MUSOKOWANTE added that government has managed to enhance budget credibility by spending what Parliament approves.
And, Dr. MUSOKOTWANE stated that Zambia should focus on areas it has comparative advantage like in agriculture and mining.
Meanwhile, Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor FRANCIS CHIPIMO said the Central Bank targets to reduce inflation from the current double digit of above 12 percent to between 6 – 8 percent.
Dr. CHIPIMO stated that BOZ will also continue to maintain a flexible exchange rate regime in the country as next year’s national budget is implemented.
He added that the Central Bank will also be rolling out a Credit Guarantee Scheme to enhance access to finance by SMEs at affordable rates.
And Zambia Revenue Authority -ZRA- Commissioner General DINGANI BANDA said the authority expects to collect 125-billion kwacha from the current projection of 103-billion kwacha with Value Added Tax accounting for a larger chunk.
He said ZRA is now focusing on collecting more money from consumption taxes and not PAYE as has always been the case.
Meanwhile Secretary to the Treasury FELIX NKULUKUSA said a survey by the Zambia Statistics Agency -ZAMSTAT- has shown an increase in poverty levels in the country, hence the 2024 national budget seeking to address these challenges while increasing investment
Mr. NKULUKUSA said government is not looking at quick fixes but sustained economic growth.
Speaking at the same event, USAID in Zambia said the increase in investments in key sectors such as education and health is important for Zambia’s continued growth.
The USAID Zambia Head of Mission PETER WIEBLER said the US remains an all weather partner to help Zambia implement the 2024 budget.
Dr. MUSOKOTWANE on Friday presented the proposed 2024 national budget which seeks to spend 177.9 – billion kwacha.
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