UPND 2016 budget ready

THE United Party for National Development (UPND) says it has already prepared its 2016 budget in anticipation that it is going to form Government in the 2016 general elections.

The UPND has also said it will reduce the size of Cabinet in a bid to reduce budgetary expenditures and that it would manage the country’s resources more prudently to spar economic growth.

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema announced during the Muvi TV special assignment on Sunday that his party was forward looking and had already formulated its dummy budget for the 2015/2016 fiscal year.

The special edition of the Assignment programme also featured UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, his counterpart Dr Canisius Banda, former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa and Senenga Member of Parliament Likando Mufalali.

Mr Hichilema said the UPND was going to exponentially reduce external borrowing but would improve the economy by ensuring that local resources were generated and optimally utilized.

Asked how much time he would need to turn round the country’s economy, Mr Hichilema said he did not want to promise Zambians a specific timeframe in which he would meet their needs and expectations.

He however said a five-year mandate after being elected president would be his time in which to work and deliver his promises adding that he was going to avoid making Zambians to expect their economic challenges resolved in a short period of time.

Mr Hichilema said the latest Euro Bond had been acquired at the rate of nine percent which he said was too high and that his government was going to source cheaper loans at the rate of three percent from which the country could save millions of dollars.

“The UPND is forward looking and we have already prepared our budget for next year and it is somewhere in the suitcase. We are going to run this country prudently and we are going to cut down on expenditure by reducing Cabinet. We are also going to reduce on foreign borrowing to save money that could be channeled to other economic sectors and prudently manage the country’s resources to the benefit of Zambians,” Mr Hichilema said.