Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members of the
It is an honour for me to present the Appropriation Bill
for the financial year 2004/05 and the Medium Term
Framework for 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07 Financial
Years before this August House.
This year's Budget has been prepared against the
background of a recovering international economic
outlook and a challenging domestic economic situation.
This calls for more prudence in macroeconomic policy
Honourable Speaker, there are hard choices to be
made. On the one hand, we need to channel resources
to tackle poverty, address health and social issues
(including the HIV/AIDS pandemic), improve
educational standards, develop our countryвЂ™s
infrastructure and guarantee peace and stability. On the other hand we need to contain the increasing level
of national debt.
This year's budget is therefore about tough
compromises. We are directing resources towards our
development priorities, but we are also making large
savings on non-essential expenditures.
We should treat the next financial-year not only as a
challenge, but also as an opportunity. Yes, it will be a
challenge because finances are tight, but it is also an
opportunity for us to learn to manage our scarce
resources more effectively and efficiently.
Honourable Speaker, some of the most important
announcements I am making in my speech today are
not about appropriation of money. Instead, they are
about fundamental reforms to the budget process.
These reforms are aimed at improving results from
public expenditure, measured in terms of social and
I will also explain how we are implementing policies to
manage risks on GovernmentвЂ™s revenue and
expenditure, and improve debt management.
Before I go into the details of the Main Budget
estimates, let me give a brief overview of the recent
economic situation globally, in the region and