By SILUMESI MALUMO
THE 2021 national budget presented by Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu yesterday has been received with mixed feelings by various stakeholders.
The UPND said the budget was clearly a campaign tool ahead of the 2021 general elections.
Party spokesperson, Charles Kakoma, said Dr Ng’andu has simply allocated funds to the Patriotic Front (PF) campaigns.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Kakoma said the health sector was supposed to be given more funds to fight the pandemic but the budget had remained static.
“Under normal circumstances people expected the minister to realign the budget towards the fight against Covid -19,” he said.
But former Minister of Finance, Katele Kalumba, said the budget would address the challenges of revamping the economy.
Dr Kalumba, who expected the minister to increase the budget due to unforeseen circumstances under Covid -19, said the budget addressed issues which Zambians expected.
He said “The minister of Finance is trying to remove us from the hurricane which we are facing during this period.
“I can describe it as a budget constructed in the eye of a storm. It is the best we can do under these circumstances we are in.
The storm we are facing is not just under the Covid-19 but the recession started earlier and the minister has tried his best to move the country out from these challenges,” Dr Kalumba said.
And former deputy minister of Finance, Danny Pule, said the measures which Government had put in place would surely revamp the declining economy.
Dr Pule said, “With measures which have been put in place it will be surely possible for the economy to revamp.
Dr Pule said it was good that the minister had taken various interventions in ensuring that the economy came back to its feet.
Meanwhile, Minister of Transport and Communications Mutotwe Kafwaya said the biggest challenge was Covid -19 that was the reason Dr Ng’andu had drafted necessary measures to improve the economy.
Mr Kafwaya said the Finance Minister had given hope that the economy would rebound.
Government Deputy Chief Whip Tutwa Ngulube said the message from Dr Ng’andu was clear as he had allocated funds to various sectors which would help to improve the economy.
By SILUMESI MALUMO