Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

On Tuesday 22nd March 2022, Secretary to Treasury, Mr. Felix Nkulukusa released the quarterly Budget Performance.

It is not inspiring.

The Treasury has released K11.1 billion for development programmes and public service emoluments.

Of this, K6.2billion was raised from domestic tax and non-tax revenues.

The difference of K4.9Billion was raised from domestic borrowings and from the IMF Special Drawing Rights which forms part of our foreign reserves.

In simple terms almost 50% of the budget was financed by debt.

This means that if Zambia continues at this trajectory 50% of the national budget will be debt and mostly going to consumption.

Let us be clear, if you collect K6.2 billion but spend K11.1 billion, the difference is either aid money or borrowed money. IMF money is NOT free money. Yes the interest may be low but its borrowed money.

We are few days away before month-end and ZRA collections stand at 55%.

This means that ZRA continues to fail to meet its monthly targets as all due dates for major taxes such as VAT, PAYE, and Income Tax have passed.

Government must ensure that both tax and non tax revenues are enhanced.

Further, their touted IMF programme appear in jeopardy as domestic revenue capacity remains low to meet and pay the IMF bail-out loan.
No country can develop on debt


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