In the 2017 National Budget, the government of Zambia announced a plan to introduce ‘cost-reflective tariffs’ for electricity by the end of 2017. This means removing the subsidies which currently allow ZESCO to charge consumers less than the cost of producing and distributing the electricity. In the current economic context, and faced with a large budget deficit and looming economic recovery programme, this is a welcome ambition. Removal of subsidies has the potential to crowd in investment in the energy sector, creating additional generation capacity and boosting growth.
Despite these benefits, policy questions do remain to ensure any withdrawal of subsidies is done effectively. For example, the Government needs to consider how cost reflective tariffs can be introduced while adequately protecting the poorest Zambians and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), as well as how to ensure price increases are sustainable and don’t end up being reversed in the future.
PMRC have undertaken a project to explore these questions in detail. The project has assessed international experiences, predominantly from other African countries and brought this together with analysis of the impact of electricity tariff changes on households, the energy needs of SME’s and analysis of the key stakeholder interests to form policy recommendations on how to implement cost reflective energy tariffs sustainably.
Food balance sheets present a comprehensive picture of the pattern of a country’s food supply during a specified reference period. The balance sheet is useful in assisting to target government polices with regards to food Security.
The 2017 budget is anchored on equitable growth and development across the entire country. The government of the republic of Zambia is cognizant of the challenges involved in its economic recovery programme and has instituted measures to scale up social safety nets to protect the poor in line with the Patriotic Front’s commitment as a pro poor government. Most of the studies of the optimum size of government made by reputable scholars in recent decades have indicated that total government spending should be no lower than 17% and no larger than about 30% of GDP. The 2017 national budget for Zambia stands at K64.5 billion or 27.7% of GDP which is close to the optimal government spending. The theme of the 2017 National Budget is “Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development”.
What is the Bill of Rights?
The Bill of Rights is a set of legal guarantees that are specifically set out within the constitution to protect fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals. The Bill of Rights is fundamental to democracy and constitutionalism and is the basis of Zambia’s social, political, legal, economic and cultural policies and state action.
Zambia does not have one consolidated and widely accepted tool for measuring Government delivery of development commitments and targets. Instead there are a number of measurement frameworks, which sometimes lead to inconsistent measurements of progress and outcomes across several data sources. Within Government, there are several Key Performance Indicators which also provide an opportunity for harmonisation. There is an opportunity to develop a single, widely accepted composite index, the Government Delivery Index (GDI).
The GDI will create awareness and drive Government to align its various strategies, track and timely review its performance. Alignment of key strategic documents is an urgent requirement as it will enhance a harmonized way of monitoring Government delivery, says Salim Kaunda, PMRC – Researcher.
You can read the Detailed Policy Brief here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/102772253/Policy-Brief-Learning-From-Government-Indices-Towards-a-Government-Delivery-Measurement-Tool
Do you think the Government should develop and abide by a single, common Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) tool, for measuring its performance and delivery?