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Govt spends K15.2 billion in April, debt servicing gulps K3 billion


Government’s realigned national budget necessitated by the drought will be presented to Parliament in the next session for approval.

In addition, the government announced that the setbacks caused by the drought and the reported abuse of public funds in some sectors would not deter the treasury from ensuring that the credibility of the budget was sustained.

The treasury, therefore, released K15.2 billion in April to finance public service delivery.

These announcements were made by the Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, in a statement issued on Sunday.

Musokotwane said the treasury would continue to finance key developmental and social welfare programmes in the intervening period as it awaited the approval of the realigned budget by Parliament.

“We will continue to release funds in a timely and efficient manner to ensure that all approved programmes are implemented in accordance with,” Musokotwane stated.

The Minister also said government was pleased with the reforms that were taking place to improve public finance management, procurement and service delivery in the public service.

He noted: “We will continue to pursue the reforms and change management initiatives so that we reach a value for money equilibrium in public service delivery.”

On the funds released for April, the Minister said K4.9 billion was for the public service wage bill, while K3 billion was spent on debt service (domestic and external) and arrears.

In addition, he said, K3.5 billion was released for transfers, subsidies and social benefits.

“In line with the government commitment to reduce indebtedness, a sum of K3 billion was released, of which, K2.7 billion went towards the payment of both domestic and external debt service while K250 million was for dismantling arrears to suppliers of goods and services to the government,” Musokotwane said.

The Minister took an opportunity to caution that wanton abuse of public funds would not be tolerated.

He also restated that perpetrators of the abuse of public would face the law and maximum applicable punishment would be sought from the courts, within the less than six months provision for financial crimes.

“Public officials who are lagging behind in adopting the good governance and public service transformation reforms implemented by the New Dawn Administration, thereby causing fiscal slippages, will also face relevant sanctions,” Musokotwane warned.

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