Muchinga Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Davy Chanda says government’s idea of simplifying the national budget into a citizens budget is another way of equipping citizens with information on how public funds are raised and spent.
Speaking during a sensitization meeting for stakeholders drawn from all walks of life in Chinsali today, Mr. Chanda said the national budget is a feature of a participatory democracy and people can only take part if the contents are made simpler to a common man.
The DPS said the information gap between government and people at the grassroots that exists will now be cushioned as the citizen’s budget translates the many technical terms in the yellow book to more literal language for a lay man to understand.
He encouraged people attending the meeting to acquire more knowledge on how government raises its taxes and expend them on public projects, goods and services.
And Ministry of Finance Senior Budget Analyst, Lazarous Mwelwa said Zambia is among the countries under the International Budget Partnership which have concluded that the citizens’ budget is the only sure way of taking people on board and creating an interest for them to make fruitful inputs.
Mr. Mwelwa explained that the citizen’s budget has proved that people will be made aware of why government collects taxes and how it utilizes them saying by such a way government will be held accountable in all public expenditures.
He said once people participate in the national budget through the simplified citizen’s budget they will take keen interest to monitor all government funded projects and ensure transparency.
The ministry of finance has developed a simplified national budget into a citizen’s budget whose theme is “celebrating our golden jubilee as one Zambia one national by making economic independence a reality for all”
The officials are touring all the provinces in Zambia to disseminate the information contained in the citizen’s budget and later empower provincial administration staff to take the same information to districts.