Following resolutions of the Special Cabinet meeting which was held on Monday, the 27th of May, 2019, were it was decided that serious measures be taken to improve the state of the economy, a management meeting for controlling officers which was chaired by acting Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr Patrick Kangwa, was convened at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
Mr Kangwa announced that the meeting which would be held monthly going forward was for the Permanent Secretaries to reflect and agree upon concrete actions and modalities for implementing Cabinet decisions which he said had not been done consistently and with seriousness by the PS’s thus far.
Mr Kangwa said the nation was experiencing fiscal challenges which were making it difficult for the public service to deliver services effectively, necessitating the adoption of decisive measures aimed at restoring the economy by government.
He stated that among measures previously announced to improve the economy were austerity measures which the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa had announced in November of 2016 during a Press briefing on the State of the Economy.
He said some of the austerity measures announced were yet to be implemented by the Controlling Officers, prompting Cabinet to reiterate the need to enforce them.
And Mr Kangwa told the Permanent Secretaries at the meeting, that as they reflected on the economy, they too needed to agree on how best they would manage government expenditure to ensure the most critical and essential programs and services had minimal disruption.
He stated that this would call for adjustment and realignment of expenditure plans as they appear in the current national budget.
He expressed concern that institutions that were mandatated by law to collect revenue have neglected the role thus continuing to contribute to the state of affairs that the nation finds itsself in.
He urged the Permanent Secretaries to have candid and honest discussions on how the collection of revenue under their charge could be maximized.
“In this meeting, we need to come up with short to medium term actions on how to improve revenue collection in order to reduce the fiscal deficit. I implore Permanent Secretaries who are responsible for various reforms such as the ZESCO, Pensions and Procurement reforms to expedite these processes,” he said.
“You are therefore directed to submit immediately to my office, your roadmaps.”
Mr Kangwa directed that the Permanent Secretaries ensure that measures are extended to all Chief Executive Officers of statutory institutions under their respective Ministries.