THE 2017 National Budget which was presented on Friday in Parliament by Finance Minister Felix Mutati will surely recover Zambia’s economy because all the major pronouncements contained in it are positive in nature, former Labour Minister Austin Liato has said.
And Mr Liato has called on Zambians to support President Edgar Lungu and the Minister of Finance on the government’s new path of putting Zambia’s economy back on track.
He told Daily Nation yesterday that after going through the 2017 National Budget he was certain that the Budget would indeed recover Zambia’s economy.
“…it is also a reflection of President Edgar Lungu’s focus and commitment to recover Zambia’s economy. The beginning of his five years programme is very good looking at the 2017 National Budget presented on Friday last week,” Mr Liato said.
Mr Liato said Mr Mutati’s pronouncement that the inflation in the 2017 National Budget would not be more than 9 percent was positive and encouraging.
He said even the pronouncement on regulating domestic and external borrowing would be very cardinal if Zambia’s economy would have to recover.
Commenting on the recruitment pronouncement that the budget would prioritize employment of teachers and health personal would improve the lives of Zambians, Mr Liato said it was important for government to invest in the education and health sectors.
Mr Liato also singled out the launched Cashew Nut Infrastructure Support programme valued at US$55.4 million with target 600,000 beneficiaries in Western province.
He said the project would economically improves the lives of many in the province and should be supported by everyone.
“Infrastructure development such as the expansion of the Lusaka-Ndola road into a dual courage way will not only improve Zambia’s infrastructure but also create the much needed jobs for the youths,” he said.
Mr Liato said there would be major job creation following many pronouncements made by Mr Mutati including the construction industry.
He also welcomed government’s decision to introduce a youth skills development fund, adding that it would keep the youths busy and make them positive contribute to economic growth.
Commenting on agriculture, Mr Liato said focus on agriculture diversification and aquaculture development would contribute positively to the attainment of food security in Zambia.
He said the recovery plan budget would go a long way in improving the wellbeing of Zambian citizens.
“So I thought that I should add my voice to the budget presented and also congratulate Finance Minister Felix Mutati for presenting a very positive budget. It is really an economic recovery programme. Let us all give him the support to put Zambia’s economic back on track,” Mr Liato said.