The 2013 Zambian budget, Delivering Inclusive Development And Social Justice To The People
The 2013 Zambian budget, with the theme, Delivering inclusive development and social justice, was presented by the Minister of finance and national planning Mr. Alexander Chikwanda, on 12 October 2012. The budget which amounted to K32.2 trillion was K3.2 trillion above the 2012 budget.
On the financing of the budget, the minister said that 76.8 percent of the 2013 Zambian budget will be financed from domestic revenues while the rest will be sourced from external donors through loans and grants. K23.5 billion will be as a result of tax revenues and K1.8 billion will be borrowed locally. Of the total tax revenues, K12.8 billion will be from income tax, K4.7 billion from customs and excise duty and K6 billion from VAT. The other K267.7 billion will be raised from non-tax measures.
The macro-economic objectives of the 2013 Zambian budget were:
- To achieve a GDP growth of 7.0 percent or more.
- To have an end of year inflation of less than 6.0 percent.
- To maintain gross international reserves of at least 4 months import cover.
- To create at least 200,000 jobs. And to achieve this, the minister set the following four sectors of the economy as job creation areas; Agriculture and forestry, Tourism, Manufacturing and Infrastructure development.
The Minister of finance and national planning Mr. Alexander Chikwanda had allocated increased amounts to various sectors to boost economic growth. The education sector was allocated K5.6 trillion, representing a 15.8 percent increase over the 2012 budget. Development of secondary school infrastructure got K393.3 billion and K475.1 billion was for the operations and expansion of infrastructure at universities, colleges and trades institutes. Mr. Alexander Chikwanda promised that the action taken will lead to the construction of new learning institutions.
The health sector got 11.3 percent of the 2013 Zambian budget or K3.6 trillion, an increase of 40.7 percent compared to the 2012 budget. Of the total budget, K110.8 billion was for the procurement of varied medical equipment, K594.1 for drugs and medical supplies and K186.1 billion for infrastructure development. K204 billion went to the UTH (University Teaching Hospital) and the two central hospitals in Ndola and Kitwe.
Local government was allocated K498 billion, an increase of 93.9 percent from K257.1 billion of the 2012 budget. Of the total allocation, K204 billion was for the commencement of the infrastructure development in newly created districts and provincial capitals.
K200 billion was set aside for the compensation and payment for ligation cases ruled against the government.
In order to boost employment, the minister had singled out four sectors as job creating areas. These are the Agriculture and forestry, Tourism, Manufacturing and Infrastructure development.
The Tourism sector, identified as one of the four sectors which would support job creation and contribute positively to growth of the GDP, was allocated K32.3 billion for marketing, with a special emphasis on the forthcoming UNWTO conference in August 2013, to be held in Livingstone.
On taxation, the government proposed to increase PAYE, (pay as you earn) threshold to K2.2 million from K2 million. The measure was intended to give a relief to workers in low income brackets.
Commenting on the 2013 Zambian budget, the president of the Zambia association of chambers of commerce and industry (ZACCI), Mr. Geoffrey Sakulanda said that the 2013 Zambian budget was one which would broaden the tax base and support the creation of employment.
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