The budget marked a significant increase from the 2018 budget that was pegged at K71.6 billion.
Mwanakatwe said out of the projected budget, domestic revenues will account for 64.6 percent, while 2.2 percent is support from cooperating partners.
The balance of 33.2 percent will be financing from domestic and foreign sources.
“Mr. Speaker, Government proposes to spend K86.8 billion or 28.9 per cent of GDP in 2019,” she said.
Mwanakatwe also announced scaled up efforts on poverty reduction with the social cash transfer receiving a notable injection.
“Sir, Government remains committed to reducing poverty and vulnerability among the economically disadvantaged in society. In this regard, I have allocated K2.2 billion towards social protection,” she said.
“As a demonstration of Government’s commitment towards clearing pension arrears, K1.1 billion of this amount will go towards payment of retirement benefits to former public service workers under the Public Service Pensions Fund.”
On the Social Cash Transfer, she said, “Further, I have increased the Government’s contribution to the Social Cash Transfer from K550 million in 2018 to K699.5 million in 2019. I have also allocated K110.9 million as grants for other social welfare programmes, such as the Food Security Pack and the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme.”
She also announced a 30 excise duty on non-alcoholic beverages.
“Sir, I propose to introduce an excise duty of 30 ngwee per litre on non-alcoholic beverages. The Government will take appropriate fiscal measures to protect local manufacturing of non-alcoholic beverages from unfair competition while discouraging import dependence,” she said.
The Finance Minister also sought to increase benefits from the mineral wealth.
“Increase mineral royalty rates by 1.5 percentage points at all levels of the sliding scale. Introduce a fourth tier rate at 10 percent on the sliding scale mineral royalty regime which would apply when copper prices rise beyond US$7,500 per metric tonne,” she said.
“Make mineral royalty tax non-deductible for income tax purposes. Introduce an import duty at the rate of 5 percent on copper and cobalt concentrates. Introduce an export duty on precious metals including gold, precious stones and gemstones at the rate of 15 percent.”
The 2019 budget also increased support to the agricultural sector.
“Mr. Speaker, to support our small scale farmers, I have allocated K1.4 billion to the Farmer Input Support Programme. I have also allocated K672 million to the Food Reserve Agency for the maintenance of the national food reserve,” she said.
“Sir, a further K2.1 billion has been allocated towards other agriculture, fisheries and livestock development programmes across the country. This includes K483.2 million earmarked for the Zambia Small Ruminants Value Chain Support Project, K585.7 million for irrigation development, which will include the upscaling of small scale irrigation projects.”
Mwanakatwe added: “Other allocations are K277.9 million for the Cashew Nut Infrastructure Development Project and K169.2 million for the Zambia Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Project.”
The education sector got K13.3 billion in 2019 or 15.3 percent of the budget on the skills development aspect.
“Within this amount, I have allocated K601.6 million for university and college infrastructure, while K258.8 million is for the completion and rehabilitation of school infrastructure across the country,” she said.
“Mr. Speaker, under skills development, I have allocated K164.0 million to support Government’s action, in collaboration with the private sector, in building a cadre of qualified personnel in artisan skills that are relevant to the needs of the industry.”
On health, “Sir, I have allocated a total of K8.1 billion or 9.3 percent of the budget to support health service delivery systems across the country. In order to ensure good supplies of medicines in health centres and hospitals, I have allocated K900.1 million.”
“I have also allocated K32.8 million for community health services in order to redress the imbalances between curative and preventive health care. Further,
K620.2 million has been allocated towards the various infrastructure development projects that are currently underway in the sector.”
She further said, “Mr. Speaker, I have allocated K10.7 million towards operationalization of the newly introduced National Health.”