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Lusaka Council nods K347.7m budget

By George Sichimba
Lusaka City Council (LCC) has adopted a K347, 764, 004 budget for 2021.

The Council has planned to finance 83% (K288 Million) of the budget from locally generated revenue while the remaining 17% is expected to come from Government in form of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF).

The budget was adopted during the Special Council Meeting held in the Council Chamber today December 16, 2020.

In his presentation of the budget, Finance, Valuation and Commercial Undertakings Committee chairperson Patrick Mwape explained that 40 percent (K115 Million) of the 2021 locally generated revenue has been set aside for service provision.

Mr Mwape who is Chilenje Ward 8 Councillor said the budget is aimed at improving the level of service provision in the city.

“Your Worship the Mayor, my committee has set aside in the 2021 budget estimates 40 percent (K115 Million) of the locally generated revenue to be channelled towards service provision. This is aimed at improving the level of service provision to our people here in the Greater City of Lusaka,” he explained.

The budget has proposed to revise the current level of Ward Development Fund (WDF) from K431, 000.00 to K435, 000.00 per ward.

In order to achieve the proposed budget, the Council has paid attention to a number of key areas and assumptions.

Some of them are that the rate of inflation in 2021 is expected to be at around 15.8 percent; that the Council through the Finance department shall deploy point of sale terminals to all site offices. This is expected to eliminate all manual cash collection systems and also implement the e-Levy system in markets.

Further, the Council plans to implement the collection of the Council revenues through mobile money by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

The Council anticipates to collect 30 percent of the accumulated historical debt of about K86 million through the use of the Council’s own debt collectors and the Sheriff’s office.

Other key assumptions are to complete the construction of Mini-Civic Centres by the first quarter of 2021 to decentralise the operations of the Council in Six constituencies; and also to complete the preparation of Lusaka Integrated Development Plan (IDP) as well to review the strategic plan.

In order to demonstrate the need to collect revenues while giving  back to communities, the Council has approved the reduction of Ground Rent by 50 percent for clients without arrears in peri-urban areas.

The special Council meeting was presided by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Christopher Shakafuswa, who thanked members for their positive contributions towards the adoption of the budget.

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