Government slows down expenditure on roads, defence in 2021

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    GOVERNMENT has cut expenditure on road infrastructure by K4.4 billion, insofar as the 2021 fiscal year.

    In this year’s national budget, K10.6 billion was set aside for road infrastructure, while in next year’s national budget finance minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu announced his proposal to spend K6.2 billion on roads.

    Dr Ng’andu announced the 2021 national budget in Parliament on Friday.

    He also made minor upward adjustments, in terms of expenditure on the health and education sectors.

    This year, the health sector was given K9.4 billion while K9.7 billion is the proposed budgetary allocation for the sector.

    The education and skills development sector this year has K13.1 billion, compared to K13.8 billion set aside for next year.

    This year, K6, 526, 391, 423 went to defence while for next year, that government function has been given K5, 642,820,724.

    Dr Ng’andu has extended that same expenditure cut to public order and safety at K3, 078,694,172 in 2021, compared to this year’s allocation of K4, 042, 702, 155. 

    “To increase access to, and improve quality of education, I propose an allocation of K13.8 billion to the education sector,” he said.

    “Of this amount, K7.1 billion will go towards early childhood and primary education, K2.7 billion to secondary education and K1.9 billion to tertiary education.”

    On health, the minister envisages that the K9.7 billion set aside for that government function would help to provide equitable and quality healthcare services.

    “I propose to allocate a total of K9.7 billion to the health sector. Out of this amount, K3.2 billion is for primary health care while K5.1 billion is for hospital services,” Dr Ng’andu said.

    “Of the allocations to primary healthcare and hospital services, K1.4 billion is earmarked for the procurement of essential drugs and medical supplies. This amount includes a provision for the COVID-19 vaccine once it is developed and made available.”

    The minister explained that on economic affairs portfolio, a total of K21.5 billion had been allocated.

    He said notable expenditures included K5.7 billion on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP); targeting one million farmers across the country.

    “Further, for the country to be food secure, I have set aside K517.5 million for the national strategic food reserve,” he noted

    “I propose to spend K6.2 billion on roads and K567.3 million on the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Kenneth Kaunda International Airports.”

    To increase access to electricity in rural areas and contribute to improved quality of life, Dr Ng’andu proposed an allocation of K307.2 million to the rural electrification programme.

    Meanwhile, the minister, in order to support women, youth, and small-to-medium enterprises, proposed to spend K266.3 million on various empowerment programmes.”

    “Out of this amount, K155.2 million will be allocated specifically to the youth,” said Dr Ng’andu.

    ©Kalemba 2020

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