By STEVEN ZANDE -
THE Government has this week paid K4.8 billion from the K17 billion owed to pensioners, infrastructure, fuel and electricity payments.
Finance Minister Felix Mutati said the Government had so far paid the K4.8 billion and would give other payment details in Parliament soon.
Mr Mutati also said the Government would strengthen the budget consultative process to ensure resource mobilisation, and that stakeholders were brought on board to enable the Government to implement consistent and predictable policies.
“This year the ministry will, with a major focus on economic sectors such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, go to all provinces to allow economic actors to explain and discuss their submissions before they can be considered by Policy Committees,” Mr Mutati said.
The minister said at a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that this would allow the Government enhance domestic resource mobilisation and further cut on unnecessary borrowing and improve Zambia’s fiscal standing.
Mr Mutati said this would be done in line with the contents of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and the economic stabilisation programme, Zambia Plus.
He said the Government would today meet Kenyan grain traders who were interested in buying an undisclosed amount of maize grain, stating that additional exports were crucial for the country to sustain economic growth and put the country in good books.
Finance Permanent Secretary in charge of economic management Mukuli Chikuba, in a presentation, said the Government was implementing robust legal measures that would sustain fiscal discipline while ensuring that public officers cited in the Auditor General’s report were brought to book.
Mr Chikuba said the Government was revising the laws, including the Public Finance, Zambia Procurement Unit and the Loans and Guarantee Authorisation Acts, to ensure prudent fund use while the Budgeting Bill would be enacted.
Among other cost-cutting measures being rolled out are the Integrated Financial Management Information System and the Treasury Single Account this year, while full implementation of the e-Voucher System will reduce waste and improve productivity among farmers.