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Budget Address by The Honourable Ng'andu P. Magande, MP

Minister of Finance and National Planning

Delivered to the National Assembly

6 February 2004

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  1. Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now resolve into Committee of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 1stJanuary, 2004 to 31st December, 2004, presented to the National Assembly in February, 2004.


  2. Mr Speaker, I am the bearer of a message from His Excellency the President recommending favourable consideration of the motion that I now lay on the Table.


  3. Mr Speaker, the Budget for 2004 is anchored on the premise that the empowerment of the Zambian people must be the only reason for all our development endeavours. This will secure sustained and broad-based development, which will create wealth, reduce poverty and raise living standards of all the citizens. Government therefore recognises that it must constantly evaluate its performance, identify the shortcomings and re- dedicate itself to ensuring the realisation of the full potential of the Nation's greatest asset: the Zambian people.


  4. With this premise in mind, in the 2004 Budget, the Government has focused expenditures on areas that will directly involve and benefit the people and curb waste within the public sector. Only by observing prudence in expenditure can the limited resources be directed at priority investments, which will reduce poverty and create wealth. Thus, the theme of the 2004 Budget is "Austerity for Posterity" by which I mean, the observance of fiscal prudence and postponement of needless present consumption in order to secure our future sustained prosperity.


  5. Mr Speaker, before proceeding further, I wish to pay tribute to my predecessor Mr Emmanuel G. Kasonde, for initiating the budget reforms from which this budget has been framed. Allow me to also thank the many individuals and organisations who made valuable contributions towards the preparation of this year's Budget. Through a number of seminars, we were able to interact with the many stakeholders who made comments on the resource envelope and the intended utilisation of the limited resources.


  6. Mr Speaker, the 2004 Budget has been formulated in the context of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2004-2006, thus placing the annual budgeting cycle in a more strategic context. Further, all spending agencies have used the Activity Based Budgeting (ABB) procedures to explicitly link their budget allocations to service delivery and outputs. While we have experienced teething problems in this reform of our budgeting process, it is nevertheless a great step forward. It makes the budgeting process more transparent while making the Executive Wing of Government more accountable to this august House and indeed to the Zambian people as a whole. In this regard, the 2004 Budget provides much more information which will allow Honourable Members to constructively debate the Budget allocations.


  7. Mr Speaker, my address this afternoon consists of five parts. In Part one, I give a brief on the performance of the global economy during the past year. In Part Two, I discuss developments in the Zambian economy during the same period and this is followed in Part Three, by an outline of the Government's economic policies for 2004. In Part Four, I present details of the 2004 Budget and the supporting revenue measures. The final part consists my concluding remarks.


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