Monday, July 08, 2013

Draft policy on budgeting will raise transparency - Chikwanda
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sat 29 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

FINANCE minister Alexander Chikwanda on Thursday launched the consultative process on the planning and budget policy to lay the foundation for the enactment of the planning and budgeting bill.

With the planning and budget policy and ensuing act, according to Chikwanda, resources would be allocated and appropriated in line with projects and programmes contained in national development plans as a matter of priority.
Chikwanda said over the years, the planning and budgeting processes had lacked a comprehensive and well-articulated guide, resulting in fragmentation of the key facets of planning, budgeting, including monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

"The draft policy also spells out mechanisms for ensuring that the programmes and projects are thoroughly assessed through a comprehensive appraisal system and effectively monitored so as to yield the intended results," Chikwanda said.

"The draft policy will also enhance transparency, accountability and provide a basis for evidence-based decision making process. It further stipulates the roles and responsibilities including procedures required in developing national plans and how they will be financed and interface with annual budgets and Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks and other policies and operational tools."
Chikwanda said the PF government desired to ensure that national plans and programmes were rooted in people's aspirations.
"To this effect, the draft policy which I am flagging off today for broader consultations provides for more enhanced system of engagement with the people and streamlines their participation mechanisms at all levels, including the grassroots," said Chikwanda. "The role of the National Assembly which is a link between the people and the executive and is also a critical oversight institution in the planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes, has also been stipulated in the document. Other institutional mechanisms aimed at cementing the participation of citizens through structured organisations for both government and non-government actors have been recognized and are being proposed to be strengthened.

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