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Cabinet approves the 2021 National Budget for presentation

Filed under: Breaking News,Business |
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Cabinet has approved the 2021 National Budget for presentation to Parliament by the Minister of Finance on Friday 25 September 2020.

Cabinet through the 2021 National Budget, says it is looking at the need for Economic Stabilisation and growing of the economy which has not been spared from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cabinet also said it appreciates that in the interim, Government has already undertaken macroeconomic stabilization measures.

Read full statement below;

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF GOVERNMENT

SPOKESPERSON ON THE DECISIONS MADE BY CABINET AT THE 19TH CABINET MEETING HELD VIRTUALLY ON MONDAY, 21ST SEPTEMBER, 2020

His Excellency the President Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu called for the 19th Special Cabinet Meeting today, 21st September, 2020, held virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with a strong conviction that Cabinet still needs to provide the necessary policy guidance in order to ensure that Government continues with its developmental programmes country-wide, aimed at improving the livelihoods of the citizens without leaving anyone behind.

The following were the decisions made:

  1. Medium Term Expenditure Framework, 2021 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure (National Budget) and the Economic Recovery Programme.

During the Cabinet Meeting today, Cabinet approved the 2021 National Budget for presentation by the Minister of Finance on Friday, 25th September, 2020 to the National Assembly.

Cabinet through the 2021 National Budget is looking at the need for Economic Stabilisation and growing of the economy which has not been spared from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cabinet appreciates that in the interim, Government has already undertaken macroeconomic stabilization measures.

These include the Medium-Term Refinancing Facility by the Bank of Zambia and the issuance of a special COVID-19 Bond.

These measures will assist, particularly, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in accessing affordable financing, enhancing the fight against COVID-19, reducing the backlog of domestic arrears, and revitalizing the financial sector.

Cabinet looks forward to restoring the Budget; enhancing domestic resource mobilization; improving economic and fiscal governance, ensure greater economic stability, growth and job creation; and scaling up social protection programmes.

Cabinet also approved the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP). The ERP is the successor programme of the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme (ESGP) that was implemented over a period of three (3) years from 2017 to 2019.

The ERP, is therefore, a stabilization, recovery and growth plan with a focus on restoring macroeconomic stability; attaining fiscal and debt sustainability; restoring growth and diversifying the economy.

The details in terms of revenue and expenditure measures will comprehensively be highlighted by the Minister of Finance on Friday, 25th September 2020 in the National Assembly as he presents the detailed figures to the nation on the 2021 National Budget.

  1. Outbreak of African Migratory Locusts in Central, Southern and Western Provinces.

Cabinet also deliberated on the outbreak of the African Migratory Locusts in parts of Central, Southern and Western Provinces. Cabinet is aware that the outbreak of the locusts has the potential to disrupt the 2020/2021 agricultural season that is due to start next month and thereby affect the food security of the country.

As such, Government through the Ministry of Agriculture has undertaken preliminary surveys in the districts that have reported an outbreak and is planning to undertake a comprehensive surveillance exercise to establish the extent of the infestation.

Cabinet agreed that in order to control the spread of the locusts, the Ministry of Agriculture needs to undertake ground and aerial spraying of the affected areas and these are Kazungula, Sesheke, Mwandi, Nalolo, Mongu, Kalabo, Shibuyunji and Mumbwa.

Given that the control of the locusts is a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral response, Cabinet resolved that key stakeholders that include the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Ministry of Tourism and Arts, and Ministry of Health continue to meet and provide the necessary guidance on the matter.

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
CABINET OFFICE
LUSAKA
21ST SEPTEMBER, 2020

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