Government says it will not abruptly stop borrowing to ensure debt sustainability, as it announces plans to borrow K33.3 billion this year which will mostly come from the domestic market.
This is according to the Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, at the 2024 national budget media briefing in Lusaka on Thursday.
The Minister clarified that the K33.3 billion was relative to the size of the economy.
While announcing the gradual decrease in borrowing, Musokotwane took the opportunity to encourage members of the public not to pay attention to those attacking government on its continued borrowing.
“We are still borrowing because we cannot just abruptly stop just like that. We have to stop gradually to drive debt back to sustainability. So most of this money will borrowed domestically.
“Yes, we are borrowing, but remember the key is relative to the size of the economy. So, you should not pay attention to those saying government is still borrowing, it is a whole different story all together,” he said.
“Next week, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) components supporting children in boarding schools will go. We do not want a situation where children are sent back when they reach school. That money will be released on time,” Dr Musokotwane said.
At the same briefing, Secretary to the Treasury, Felix Nkulukusa, said about K518 million school grants was released on Tuesday this week for the first quarter of 2024.
Nkulukusa explained that the money was being released between the ranges of K30,000 as minimum and K2 million as maximum.
“School grants are released on a quarterly basis, so for the first quarter of 2024, we have released K518 million,” he said.
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