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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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