FINANCE minister Margaret Mwanakatwe says government, last month, spent K1.5 billion on debt servicing. In a statement yesterday, Mwanakatwe said in October the government released K6.1 billion to finance various operations. She stated that K2.4 billion was released on personal emoluments, K1.5 billion on debt service, and K1.1 billion on grants and other payments while the remainder of K1.1 billion was spent on other key programmes. Mwanakatwe stated that grants to universities amounted to K80.1 million, student loans and scholarships at K99.9 million, grants to schools at K60.8 million while Skills Development Fund received K20 million.
“K344.9 million was released to Grant Aided Institutions for their operations while various Ministries received K92 million. And to restock drugs and medical supplies in hospitals, the treasury released K150 million to the Ministry of Health,” she stated.
Mwanakatwe stated that K170.3 million went to the Farmer Input Support Programme.
“The Food Security Pack which also complements the FISP, has received a total of K50 million so far, and the Food Reserve Agency got K23 million (totaling to K211.6 million released in 2018) for procurement of maize and other grains to meet the strategic reserve requirements,” she stated.
“Releases for capital expenditure totaled K233.2 million of which K158.1 million went to the roads sector for completion of some road projects and tollgates, K29.9 million to the Rural Electrification Programme for increase electrification rates in rural arrears, and K45.1 million to other capital related expenditures.”
Mwanakwe warned against misapplication and misappropriation of funds by spending agencies and ministries.
“There is going to be no compromise on fiscal discipline. Ministries, spending agencies, I want to encourage you, implore you to ensure that you remain within your budgeted levels of expenditure. 2019 is only a few weeks away, we want to make sure that budget, and its huge, K86.6 billion, we want to make sure that what we said we are going to spend on, we spend on that,” she said.
“I want to encourage you, implore you and say to you that should we find you wanting in any way vis-a-vis fiscal discipline, we shall not hesitate to take you to book or to task. We don’t want to hear misapplication, we don’t want to hear misappropriation.”