2017 budget best, says Katele




THE 2017 national budget is the best and necessary approach to address the current economic challenges the country faces and promises credibility of financial cash flow that will meet its intended beneficiaries, says former Finance Minister Katele Kalumba.

In an interview with the Sunday Nation yesterday, Dr. Kalumba observed that the principal message from the budget was prudential management to complement monetary policies of the Bank of Zambia (BOZ), stating that it would help bring about a sound and stable macro-economic environment.

He said that there was need to come up with a domestic debt policy which would be managed by the Ministry of Finance on behalf of other ministries unlike a situation where any ministry could borrow and pay debt, stating that was not good for the nation as it would expose it to further total debt burden.

“Underlining that budget was the principle which I hope people heard. He wants to see credibility brought back to the budgetary system, meaning policy pronouncement must equal our capacity to implement them because we have the resources to do so, that will help bring about stability and confidence in the money markets,” he said.

Dr. Kalumba suggested that there was need for a legal framework which would help Government develop instruments to access funds from non-financial institutions such as insurance companies to help avert tax evasion as well as help the State to develop instruments to invest in capital markets.

He commended the Finance Minister Felix Mutati for exhibiting boldness and commitment to bring about economic growth such as the desire to enhance social protection in education, health, agriculture and social cash transfer which would create linkages to reach the intended beneficiaries and focusing on internal revenue collection as the backbone of the economy owing to its potential.

“I would like to commend the minister for showing such commitment. I know others have criticised him but to say the truth, this budget is necessary for our economic challenges such as the debt portfolio and the state of our local currency in order to grow the economy,” he said.