GOVERNMENT says it will increase salaries for public service workers next year but will ensure that the overall size of the public sector pay as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) does not rise over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period.
Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has also said Government has resumed the recruitment of public sector workers in 2015, especially for frontline services in the education, health and public sectors.
According to a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday by Ministry of Finance public relations officer Chileshe Kandeta, Mr Yamba said the public service pay is programmed to fall to 8.4 percent of GDP by 2018 from nine percent in 2015.
“Government will award pay increases to all public sector workers from 2016. it is imperative that the overall size of public sector pay as a share of GDP does not rise over the MTEF period,” Mr Yamba said.
He said Government is committed to maintaining fiscal position by limiting borrowing which will create budgetary space to increase allocations to critical programmes like education and social protection.
Mr Yamba said during the 2016-2018 medium term, Government will focus on consolidating its fiscal position to create fiscal space for vital public services and infrastructure development and ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared widely by all citizens of every age and gender, and by all regions of Zambia.
“Concomitantly, Government will allocate funds raised externally to strategic sectors of the economy, especially transport, communications and energy, and also to key socio-economic infrastructure to enhance the delivery of essential public services, especially health, education and water and sanitation, to its people,” he said.
Mr Yamba said Government wants the people to know that it is resolved to follow a prudent fiscal path and will ensure that domestic borrowing over the MTEF period is limited to no more than 1.0 percent of GDP so as not to crowd out domestic investment nor put undue pressure on domestic interest rates.
He said other reforms will be undertaken to realign spending – especially in the agriculture sector, where the roll-out of the e-voucher scheme is expected to bring efficiencies and cost savings in the operation of the Farmer Input Support Programme.
Mr Yamba also said operations of the Food Reserve Agency will be refocused onto its core function of maintaining the strategic food reserves and that Government will continue with its efforts to increase the mobilisation of resources domestically through tax and non-tax revenues.
He said the Zambia Revenue Authority will continue its programmes to raise tax compliance levels and that tax and non-tax revenues are projected to rise to over 20 percent of GDP in 2018.
Zambia Daily Mail