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House passes K2.33 trillion revised budget

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Parliament Thursday passed the revised K2.33 trillion national budget presented by Finance Minister Felix Mlusu late last month.

The revised budget, which is K144 billion above the K2.19 trillion original financial plan presented by Mlusu in September last year, was passed with no changes.

The Finance Minister further pledged to take on board some of the contributions from lawmakers when crafting the 2021/22 national budget.

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Mlusu said he was happy that members of Parliament had passed the revised budget, which would allow him to legally spend taxes.

However, the revised budget faces an K810.7 billion deficit, which is expected to be covered through foreign financing of K246.3 billion, with the balance of K564.4 billion programmed to be financed through domestic borrowing.

Mlusu said the government would ensure that it spends within the approved deficit, adding that chances are high that Capital Hill would spend below the deficit.

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“There are measures we are putting in place to make sure that we perform within the projected deficit or even lower. One of the things that I announced here is the liberalisation of exports of our produce, including maize. Starting this year, with the crop that is in the field now, we will allow business people to export maize and other produce.

“We believe that that should also assist us to start revitalising the economy on its way to recovery. These are some of the measures we believe would bring us some of the revenues which will help us run some of our programmes up to the end of the year and as we go into the next financial year,” Mlusu said.

Before the revised budget was passed, there was simmering tension in the august House as opposition lawmakers blocked the passing of the Local Government vote, which was the last on the list of votes during the Committee of Supply stage.

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