2022 National Budget ambitious-NDC

 2022 National Budget ambitious-NDC

By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The National Democratic Congress Party (NDC) has urged Zambians to be cautious in the manner in which they embrace the proposed 2022 budget which is pegged at K173 billion.

NDC Deputy Spokesperson Zuwa Sinkamba believes that the budget is ambitious on the expenditure side, whereas questions are arising as to where the money will come from to finance K25.7 CDF per constituency, employment of 11,200 healthy workers and 30,000 teachers.

“ The general citizenry should note that there will be a significant increase in domestic and external borrowing to fund these ambitious projects, and on the other hand, government will reduce percentage allocation of funds towards FISP, Health from 8.1% to 8%, Education from 11.5% to 10.4% and certain infrastructure projects,” he said.

Mr Sinkamba said that it would have been more prudent to impose a windfall tax in the mining sector considering the fact that copper prices are projected to be high in the foreseeable future.

He said that this would have solved a lot of problems than more borrowing.

“The PF were borrowing for infrastructure, however, in this case we are borrowing for social spending. Therefore, we see a situation where the UPND will come back to Parliament with an appropriation bill to increase the borrowing threshold for this fiscal year by about k20 billion about ($1billion at a rate of k17 to a USD), forcing us to stay in a debt cycle and unsustainable debt level,” he said.

Mr Sinkamba said that the level of domestic and foreign borrowing has increased from last year’s budget by K20.6 billion.

“We hoped the new government would have given a meaningful relief from PAYE tax, the K500 increase in except threshold is too little, as the government is proposing to increase the fees charged by agencies like RTSA which will negate the k4,500 PAYE threshold benefits,” he said.

Mr Sinkamba however said that building of 130 Secondary Schools, abolishing of tuition, examination and PTA fees, as well as renewal of PSV license every 5 years as opposed to annually, importation for Stock feeds for cattle to be zero rated, for all retirees to be paid in 2022 are some of the positives of the 2022 National Budget.

The Independent Observer

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John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism