Govt tables P552m supplementary budget

Christmas in combat: BDF is among the SADC troops deployed to Mozambique in July last year
Christmas in combat: BDF is among the SADC troops deployed to Mozambique in July last year

The Finance Ministry has tabled a P552.4 million supplementary budget to cover the costs of the Mozambique military deployment, ISPAAD payments and the recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, among others. Funding for the supplementary will come from budget revenues and by diverting money from slow moving projects in the development budget, Finance Minister, Peggy Serame told Parliament.

The request for additional funding comes after Serame had, in her February budget speech, said her ministry would not be inclined to accept any supplementary budget requests this financial year.

“The recommended supplementary estimates meet the unforeseen and emergency criteria as stated in the relevant statutes,” she told Parliament earlier today. “I therefore, believe that the quantum of the supplementary budget attests to the desire for fiscal discipline expressed earlier.’

According to the supplementary budget’s recurrent expenditure, an amount of P133.4 million will go towards funding the deployment of the country’s soldiers, police and prisons’ officers in Mozambique where SADC is helping put down a terrorist insurgency. The SADC mission deployed in July 2021 and its initial six month operation has since been extended to July 2023.

The funds will cover spending items such as allowances, military material and equipment, food rations and medical expenses as well as uniforms and accessories.

Under the P419 million development expenditure contained in the supplementary budget, an amount of P300 million is required to cater for the final phase of the ISPAAD programme, government’s inputs subsidy scheme for subsistence farmers.

Serame noted that under the current budget, P481 million had been allocated for ISPAAD with P413.3 million or about 86 percent already spent on outstanding payments by the end of October 2022.

“Additional funding is, therefore, required for the 2022/2023 ploughing season activities, as well as to enable a smooth transition into its successor programme, Temo-Letlotlo which is anticipated to commence during 2023/2024 financial year,” the minister said.

Another P74.4 million is required for the management and control of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), which broke out in the North East District in August 2022. The funds are expected to cater for compensation and restocking for farmers affected by culling activities in the area.

Serame also asked Parliament to approve P44.7 million for the completion of the Attorney General’s Chambers office in Maun, where construction is currently at 78 percent completion.

The minister noted that the P552.4 million supplementary budget had been narrowed down from P1.6 billion in additional funding requests from various ministries and government entities. The Health Ministry, which received the lion’s share of the recurrent budget in February at P10 billion, had put in a request for P1.3 billion in additional funding.

The Ministry expects this financial year to produce a P7.7 billion deficit, which is being funded through borrowing from the domestic capital market and an accelerated external debt funding programme.

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