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Budget Address by Honourable Ng'andu P. Magande, MP - Minister of Finance and National Planning

Delivered to the National Assembly

on Friday, 3rd February 2006

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  1. Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now resolve into Committee of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 1st January 2006 to 31st December, 2006 presented to the National Assembly in February 2006.

  2. Sir, I am the bearer of a message from His Excellency the President recommending favourable consideration of the motion that I now lay on the Table.

  3. Mr. Speaker, I wish to remind Honourable Members that the policies and programmes of the New Deal Administration were made clear in the opening address to this House by His Excellency President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel on Friday 13th January 2006. What I intend to do this afternoon is to present to the Honourable Members the details of the measures, programmes and projects we intend to implement in order to attain the targets of these noble policies. I will therefore put numbers to the many programmes set out by His Excellency the President.

  4. Mr. Speaker, as has become the custom, the budget, which I am presenting today benefited from broad-based consultations with various stakeholders. During the consultations, the stakeholders put forward many proposals. These proposals reflected optimism and a sigh of relief at having achieved one of the landmarks in the history of Zambia. This was the qualification for debt relief after reaching the Completion Point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in April 2005.

  5. Mr. Speaker, over the past four years under the New Deal Government, the country has continually experienced positive changes in the economy. The remarkable results have been the sustained economic growth and macroeconomic stability. Zambians have witnessed a positive change of behavior in the management of public resources by the Government. The country has also won increasing recognition and respect in the international community due to good governance and strict control of public finances. Sir, all these developments have not happened by accident. They are a result of the resolute political will of the New Deal Government to consistently observe best practices and implement sound economic policies and programmes.

  6. Mr. Speaker, let me seize this opportunity to sincerely thank all the patriotic Zambians for having supported President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC in his quest to get the country out of the wilderness. The visible successes achieved during the past four years, and clearly manifested during the past few months, are due to their tenacity, resilience and willingness to follow a visionary leader who can clearly see Zambia as a country of prosperous citizens.

  7. Mr. Speaker, the goal of the Government in 2006 is to continue with the viable economic policies that will promote broad-based participation in economic activities and equitable wealth creation and consolidate economic stability. The Government is, therefore, determined to remain consistent in order to consolidate even further the gains attained in the past few years. It is in this context that the theme for the 2006 Budget is, "From Sacrifice to Equitable Wealth Creation."

  8. Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate our recent economic achievements, we must remember that our work will only be complete when the majority of our people will have been emancipated from the yoke of poverty. It is our strong belief that the sacrifices that the Zambian people continue to make will not be in vain but sooner than later, the benefits will reach the majority of them.

  9. Sir, in our crusade to uplift the living standards of our people, we will intensify our efforts through progressive advances in access to education, health care and other economic opportunities. As a Government that cares for its people, and committed to social delivery, we shall, in the 2006 Budget, focus on economically empowering Zambians, especially the youth, as this is a sustainable way of fighting poverty and ensuring the country's future prosperity.

  10. Mr. Speaker, my address this afternoon contains five parts. In Part I, I give an overview of the performance of the global economy during the past year. In Part II, I discuss the developments in the Zambian economy during the same period and this is followed, in Part III, by an outline of the Government's economic policies for 2006. In Part IV, I present the details of the 2006 Budget and the supporting Expenditure and Revenue measures. Finally, in Part V, I conclude my address.

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