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Think-tank pitches economic revival for national budget

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU

THE theme for the 2022 national budget should be aligned to sustainable revival of the economy and employment creation through well targeted tax incentives and higher spending on productive sectors.

Expectations are high for the 2022 National Budget, especially that it is being presented with a central focus on economic transformation.

This is according to the Policy and Monitoring Research Center, Executive Director, Bernadette Deka-Zulu.

Ms Deka-Zulu said the budget was expected to set into motion the plans and aspirations of Government desire to lift the economy from the economic doldrums.

“The themes for the 2022 National Budget are expected to be aligned to: sustainable revival of the economy and employment creation through well targeted tax incentives and higher spending on productive sectors.

“Increased social spending that meets international protocols and towards achieving Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while keeping an eye on fiscal consolidation,” she said in a statement.

Ms Deka-Zulu said the theme should also be aligned to promotion of private sector participation in Zambia’s economic recovery agenda.

She explained that budget allocations for a broader revival of the economy must be targeted towards capital expenditure in the agriculture, manufacturing and tourism sectors.

She said agricultural expenditure must meet the ‘Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security’ to which African countries are expected to commit at least 10 percent of their public resources as well as rural development policy implementation.

“The allocation in the agricultural sector must be towards the drivers of increased production and productivity through irrigation, extension services, agro-processing and research and development,” Ms Deka-Zulu said.

In the manufacturing sector, she said, Government aas urged to consider implementing well intended tax incentives that are essential for promoting private sector participation regarding value addition in the mining, agricultural and forestry sectors.

Ms Deka-Zulu also said for Zambia to achieve fiscal consolidation in the 2022 Budget, there was need to reduce wasteful expenditure and financial leakages in implementation of projects and programmes.

” In order to achieve this, the Government in the 2022 budget is urged to actualize the 100 percent migration of the Famers Input Support Programme from the traditional Direct Input Support (DIS) to the e-voucher system to reduce administrative costs in the transport and distribution of agricultural inputs by Government,” she said.

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