IMF confirms PF Budget deficit

The International Monetary Fund has acknowledged that the PF government has over-spent and will not be able to fund many pending activities from the soon to be rolled-out budget.

The budget deficit, according to the Breton Wood institution, is a result of the many unplanned populist activities including the award of nearly 200 per cent salary increment to civil servants.

The IMF team, which had been in the country for the last one week to liaise over budget preparations, has observed that the budget to be presented next week was under severe stress due to the many unplanned activities, projects and capital outlays.

The team has advised the government to initiate programmes that would bridge the gap arising from the deficit.

The Zambian government has agreed on a number of tax measures including road tolling in order to cover for the deficit next year.

Among the plans is the broadening of the tax base of capturing revenue from some non-traditional sources.

These will be incorporated in the budget to be presented by Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda next week.

The Zambian government had denied over-spending and claimed all planned activities would be financed