Close-up of a Calculator and Pen on a Financial Newspaper. Blue-toned.

Zambia’s finance minister on Friday unveiled the country’s 2021 budget aimed at stimulating economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The budget also enhances our social protection response programs to prevent the worsening of poverty levels despite constrained fiscal conditions,” Bwalya Ng’andu said when unveiling the budget in parliament.

Under the budget, the government has proposed to spend 119.6 billion Zambian Kwacha which translates to 32.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Of this amount, 68.0 billion Kwacha will come from domestic revenues and grants while the balance of 51.6 billion Kwacha will be raised through financing.

He said the fiscal deficit was targeted to reduce to 9.3 percent of GDP in 2021 from the 11.7 percent projected outturn for 2020.

According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic has stifled economic growth, adding that the focus in the medium term will be on containing the spread of the virus, mitigating its effect and restoring macroeconomic stability as well as growth.

“In addition, priority will be to move towards attaining fiscal fitness and restoring debt sustainability, dismantling domestic arrears and safeguarding social protection spending,” he added.

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