Expectations are high that Parliament will today pass the K2.2 trillion budget, the first budget for the Tonse Alliance government presented on September 4, 2020 for the 2020/21 financial year.
Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda said at the pace at which Parliament is scrutinising the votes through the Committee of Supply, there is a high likelihood that the financial blueprint will get the lawmakers’ nod by the end of business today.
“Tomorrow [today] we should be concluding deliberating on the votes. Members have decided that instead of meeting for four hours, we should meet more than even eight hours just because of the holiday which is coming on Thursday [tomorrow] because on Friday they may not be able to return from Mothers’ Day celebration,” Chimwendo Banda said.
However, Chief Whip for Democratic Progressive Party Vuwa Kaunda and other opposition MPs accused the government of bulldozing the budget through First Deputy of Speaker of parliament Madalitso Kazombo, the allegations that Chimwendo Banda dismissed.
Earlier, on funds allocated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu said the government has not yet allocated resources for the Sadc chairmanship of President Lazarus Chakwera when he takes over in August next year.
He also said for foreign embassies that are not remitting visa fees, moving forward the government will be netting off when considering budgets.
A fierce debate also ensued when MPs queried the K111.4 billion allocation for Roads Fund Administration with many MPs accusing the government of failing to provide for continuation of some major road projects in the financial year.