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Budget address by the Hon. Ng'andu P. Magande, MP, Minister of Finance and National Planning

Delivered to the National Assembly on Friday, 28th January 2005

Zambian Government

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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 1st January 2005 to 31st December 2005, presented to the National Assembly in January 2005.

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

  3. Mr. Speaker, during the annual Budget process, the Government reviews the country’s recent economic performance, assesses the challenges and opportunities facing the nation, and formulates the necessary policies and programmes on how to face the challenges and exploit the opportunities. In 2004, the focus of the Government was on fiscal prudence by avoiding wastage and directing resources to priority areas. This was a prerequisite for securing a new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and reaching the Completion Point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. The policy was also to provide a stable macroeconomic environment for private sector investment.

  4. Mr. Speaker, all this was achieved in the year when Zambians celebrated 40 years of peaceful coexistence as one united country. Indeed, 2004 saw positive economic growth for six consecutive years, with growth in per capita incomes being achieved in each of the last five years. This is evidence that the economic policies pursued by the Mwanawasa Administration are working and, therefore, we all must persevere to achieve further success.

  5. Mr. Speaker, in 2005, the goal of the Government is to continue with viable economic policies that will promote broad-based growth and consolidate national unity, economic and political stability. It is in this context that the theme for the 2005 Budget is "Steadfastness for Accelerated and Broad-based Growth".

  6. Mr. Speaker, the Budget, which I am presenting today benefited from broad-based consultations with various stakeholders. During the consultations on the Green Paper for the Medium- Term Expenditure Framework for 2005- 2007, the stakeholders put many proposals forward. Those consulted included the business community, the labour movement, professional associations, farmers associations, civil society and other non-governmental organisations. After considering these ideas, we have incorporated the feasible ones in formulating our policies and spending plans for the year 2005.

  7. Mr. Speaker, my address consists of five parts. In Part One, I review the performance of the international economy in 2004. Part Two examines the performance of the domestic economy in the same year and this is followed in Part Three by an outline of the Government’s economic policies for 2005. In Part Four, I present details of the 2005 budget and the supporting revenue measures. The final part contains my concluding remarks.

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