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Government Proposes 177.9 Billion Kwacha Budget for 2024

Finance & National Planning Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane accompanied by his wife Mrs Mate Musokotwane and their grandchild Netanya Lineo Musokotwane arrive at Parliament Buildings for presentation of the 2024 National Budget.

Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane presented the proposed national budget for 2024 to parliament , revealing that the government intends to allocate nearly 177.9 billion Kwacha for the fiscal year.

Of this proposed budget, Minister Musokotwane disclosed that 141 billion Kwacha will be generated through domestic resources, while an additional 3.4 billion Kwacha will come from grants.

One of the key highlights of the proposed budget is the revision of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) exemption threshold. Dr. Musokotwane announced that the threshold will be raised to 5,100 Kwacha from the current 4,800 Kwacha in the upcoming national budget. This adjustment aims to alleviate the tax burden on citizens, especially in light of rising living costs.

The Finance Minister emphasized that this change in the PAYE threshold is in direct response to concerns raised by Zambians regarding the high cost of living and the resulting impact on their finances.

In addition to the threshold revision, Dr. Musokotwane proposed a reduction in PAYE rates from the current 37.5 percent to 37 percent. This move is designed to provide further relief to workers and promote economic stability.

The proposed budget also allocates significant funds for infrastructure development and sector-specific improvements. Notably, 701 million Kwacha has been allocated for the upgrading and rehabilitation of provincial airports in Mansa, Mbala, Solwezi, Choma, and Kasaba Bay, aiming to enhance transportation accessibility across the country.

Furthermore, 770 million Kwacha has been earmarked for infrastructure improvements within the tourism sector. This allocation aims to attract more tourists to Zambia, boosting the country’s tourism industry and economic growth.

Local government has not been overlooked in the proposed budget, with an allocation of 1.4 billion Kwacha for the Local Government Equalization Fund. This fund is intended to support the remuneration of Councillors, contributing to the efficient functioning of local governance.

The Economic Sector is set to receive 39.8 billion Kwacha, with specific allocations for various areas. Eight billion Kwacha will be directed towards road construction projects, while 13 billion Kwacha will be allocated to the agriculture, fisheries, and livestock sectors. Additionally, 8.6 billion Kwacha will be used to support one million farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme, bolstering the agricultural industry and ensuring food security.

The proposed budget for 2024 now awaits further deliberation and approval in parliament before becoming official policy.