By Bennie Mundando
CABINET has approved the 2021 National Budget for presentation to the National Assembly by the Minister of Finance, Bwalya Ng’andu, this Friday.
Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya says the approval was made today during the Cabinet meeting held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was chaired by President Edgar Lungu.
Ms. Siliya says other than approving the National Budget, Cabinet appreciates that in the interim, Government has already undertaken macroeconomic stabilization measures.
She says Cabinet, through the 2021 National Budget, is looking at the need for economic stabilisation and growing of the economy which has not been spared from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She says Cabinet appreciates that in the interim, Government has already undertaken macroeconomic stabilization measures and that these measures include the Medium-Term Refinancing Facility by the Bank of Zambia and the issuance of a special COVID19 Bond.
“These measures will assist, particularly, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in accessing affordable financing, enhancing the fight against COVID-19, reducing the backlog of domestic arrears, and revitalizing the financial sector.
“Cabinet looks forward to restoring the Budget; enhancing domestic resource mobilization; improving economic and fiscal governance, ensure greater economic stability, growth and job creation; and scaling up social protection programmes,” Ms. Siliya said.
She also says Cabinet also approved the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) which is the successor programme of the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme (ESGP) that was implemented over a period of three years from 2017 to 2019.
The ERP is a stabilization, recovery, and growth plan with a focus on restoring macroeconomic stability, attaining fiscal and debt sustainability, restoring growth, and diversifying the economy.
“The details in terms of revenue and expenditure measures will comprehensively be highlighted by the Minister of Finance on Friday, 25th September 2020 in the National Assembly as he presents the detailed figures to the nation on the 2021 National Budget,” she said.