Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda says putting up the 2016 budget was not an easy exercise owing to the conflicts between the resources available and what is needed for expenditure.
Speaking during a 2016 budChikwanda ABget breakfast organized by Deloitte in Lusaka this morning, Mr. Chikwanda says the gap between expenditure which is K53 billion and the locally available revenue which is K42 billion will be financed both through internal and external borrowing.
He notes that what will remain will be financed by the proceeds from the Eurobonds that have not been utilized in the course of the year.
He adds that it is his hope that there will be no excesses or supplementary estimates, adding that if the country spends more money than what is budgeted for, the country will again go into massive borrowing.
Mr. Chikwanda says if the government over borrows, it means crowding out the private sector which is the engine of development from which government expects more jobs to be created.
He notes that if the government borrows less, it will trigger a downward movement in the interest rates.
Mr Chikwanda says it is their hope that the agriculture and energy sectors can perform better and that the incentives outlined in the budget will entice the private sector to invest into energy.
He states that government will make sure that there is no excessive bureaucracy, but that investors will get quick answers in order for them to quickly invest in the energy sector.
The Finance Minister further states that it is also time that the country converted the diversification programme into reality and not merely talking about it.