First Deputy Speaker Namugala Urges MPs to Appreciate the Relationship between Fiscal Policy Pronouncements and the Performance of the Economy

The National Assembly of Zambia with the support of the European Union under the Support to the National Assembly Project hosted a Public Financial Management Training Worksop for Members of Parliament in Lusaka at the Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday, 17th June, 2017.

Speaking during the official opening, the First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Catherine Namugala, MP said she was optimistic that the workshop would enhance MPs’ understanding of public financial management and unlock some of the technical aspects of it. She added that the workshop was very important and timely as it was held at a time when MPs were preparing for the next legislative stage, that of the 2018 Budget.

The First Deputy Speaker noted that one of the challenges that Zambia’s budgeting system faces is inability to mobilise resources and she said that is was gratifying to see that resource mobilisation was one of the topics that the workshop would cover. She also said that she hoped that MPs would engage more with the Minister of Finance about the revenue component of the budget in the aftermath of the workshop.

Honourable Namugala further stated that the theme of the 2017 Budget “Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development” indicates that all is not well with Zambia’s Fiscal Policy and that is was therefore critical for MPs to appreciate the relationship between fiscal policy pronouncements and the general performance of the economy.

The First Deputy Speaker also thanked the European Union (EU) for their continued support to the National Assembly over the years in the Parliamentary Reforms Agenda.

And in a speech presented on his behalf by Mr Temwani Chihana, the Secretary to the Treasury Mr. Fredson K Yamba said that the themes that were covered in the topics of the training workshop were very important for better understanding of the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which among other things look at measures to improve fiscal performance and concrete steps towards implementation of key policies contained in the 2017 Budget.

The training workshop on public Financial Management is aimed at; sensitising MPs on the role of Parliament in the budget process with a special focus on promoting accountability and transparency; and to provide impetus for a more content and evidence based parliamentary debate throughout the budget cycle, ideally leading to better alignment between policy priorities and financial resources.