2017 projects will be closely monitored – Mutati

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 13:54:56 +0000

By Buumba Chimbulu

GOVERNMENT will ensure it implements and monitors projects as indicated in the 2017 national Budget by working harder, says Minister of Finance Felix Mutati.

Mr Mutati told the business community in Kasama, during a post-Budget discussion, that project implementation remained a challenge to Government due to various reasons.

“We are still having challenges in implementing and monitoring and that is where we need to work harder,” he said.

He explained that Government would directly deal with the economic issues which posed a challenge in 2016 such as the incompletion of projects.

He explained that this could only be done by making the right choices which would ensure all stalled projects were completed.

“This 2016 has been a difficult year, we spent more than we could generate. We ended up having incomplete projects and part of this is because of the subsidies. We failed to complete many projects because the money was channelled to subsidies,” he said.

He also said Government will limit its borrowing in 2017 and ensure that it did not exceed more than 2 percent of the GDP, adding that too much borrowing was embarrassing.

He further said Government under its food programme would ensure that 1.2 million pupils in rural areas at least had a meal a day to improve school attendance.

Mr Mutati explained that this programme was a way of reducing poverty in rural areas.

He also said Government would start delivering farming inputs to the Northern Province this week.

Speaking at the same meeting, Northern Province minister Brian Mundubile said Government would release funds for the completion of projects in the province.

Mr Mundubile said the Kasama airport was being upgraded to accommodate large aircrafts.

Meanwhile, Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Ronald Chitotela said K1 .2 billion had been paid to contractors.

Mr Chitotela said Kasama was among the areas which Government wanted to develop in terms of infrastructure.

And Minister of Transport and Communication, Brian Mushimba, said Government would revamp the Zambia Railways and ensure it operates efficiently.

And Paramount Chief Chitimukulu said the Mpika-Kasama road needed attention as contractors working on the site had disappeared.

The chief also advised the people of Kasama to develop a mind-set of working hard in developing the province and not to always wait for the Government.


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