RECRUITMENT OF TEACHERS, HEALTH WORKERS TO CONTINUE – CHIKUBA
MINISTRY of Finance permanent secretary in charge of budget and economic affairs Mukuli Chikuba says the recruitment of teachers and health workers is not a one-off exercise this year.
Speaking during the budget consultation programme with stakeholders, he explained that the process was just the beginning, adding that government wanted to upscale development and bring it close to the people.
“You will only see more of the revenues that are going down to the citizens. In 2023 CDF will be upscaled within the budget you will see more revenue going down to the citizens. Within the 2022 national budget, the social sector spending which we have increased with the recruitment of teachers and health personnel is not a onetime thing in 2022, you will see this in 2023 for the medium term… the 30,000 teachers and 11,000 health personnel is just the beginning,” he said.
Chikuba added that government would ensure transparency in the process as it was a reflection of the public officers.
He said the government was also consulting stakeholders on increasing revenue collection.
“Transparency so that we are as transparent as we can as this is the reflection of us in the offices. First, we are consulting on the revenue side of the budget, and on this side, our aim is to try and increase revenue collection. You will note that revenue collection within the region is sitting on the rate of over 22 per cent of the GDP. In Zambia if we take factors, we have ideas on what we want to achieve,” he said.
Chikuba further urged stakeholders to manage expectations, adding that not every submission would be taken by government.
“…We are looking at the 2023 national budget and 2025 expenditure framework, and the consultations are taken for the very purpose of ensuring that the budget is presented on the aspirations of the different working groups and the citizens that the budget is prudent in terms of its content. And also to ensure that there is accountability in the process of creating the budget and also implementation of the budget, because when you are part and parcel of the formulation, you will take keen interest in the matter of implementation and hold government accountable towards the undertaking,’’ explained Chikuba. ‘’The other is to attain fiscal transparency so that with public resources we are as transparent as we can; and a reflection of us who have been put in offices to run the affairs on your behalf. The idea as we are starting the consultation, is to have a fair balance between those that are asking us to give in what we are calling tax expenditures. Everything we give you an incentive, it means the public has given that money to you as the public for you to expend in a business. But I would encourage that as we are making submissions, we take into account the fact that the country needs to collect revenue that will match the revenue incentives so that we have a good balance.’’