As government presents the 2024 National Budget, stakeholders are expectant of several measures to be introduced to spur economic growth that includes an increase in social cash transfer for persons living with disability.
The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) has acknowledged the strides that government had made such as increased budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.
CSPR Executive Director, Faides Tembatemba, in a statement issued in Lusaka on Tuesday said that this had resulted in a tremendous increase in coverage specifically in the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme.
“The challenges however remain as financing, incoordination, fragmentation, and a lack of adequate legislation characterize the social protection sector,” Tembatemba said.
She said the current Social Cash Transfer (SCT) only aimed to cover 1.3 million people by the year end which was only 12 percent of the 11 million.
Tembatemba expects the SCT transfer value increase from K200 to K336.73 and K400 to K500 for person living with disability to allow for vulnerable households access the essential commodities such as food given the increased cost of living.
“CSPR was expecting the government to increase the overall social protection budget to allow an extension in coverage and transfer value from the current 4.9 percent to eight percent,” she said.
On the manufacturing sector, Tembatemba called for the promotion of Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ) across all the ten provinces as it was a way of expanding the country’s industrial and manufacturing base.
She noted that currently, there were only two relatively functional economic zones in Zambia namely the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone and the multi-facility economic zone in Kalumbila.
“Furthermore, government must enact policies that will promote access to finance and markets for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” Tembatemba said.
She said currently many Zambian-led SMEs were largely constrained by lack of affordable finance, market access and inadequate business development skills.
WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.