Business and Technology

Treasury releases K1.2 billion for farmers and public schools

THE TREASURY has released K1.284 Billion of which K960 Million is for outstanding payments to farmers under the 2020/2021 farming season, and K324 million is the 2022 first quarter operational support fund for public schools aimed at facilitating the implementation of free education for all learners at early childhood, primary, and secondary education levels.

In a statement made to a local publication, Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa reiterated the announcement by the Minister of Finance and National Planning during the presentation of the 2022 National Budget, that the fees charged at public early childhood and secondary schools for a child to be allowed to attend class have been done away with, as free educational services are already provided for learners at primary school level.

Mr Nkulukusa noted that to this end, grants from the Government to public schools have been increased to meet the operational costs that were previously financed by the abolished fees. The funds will be paid directly to the bank account of each individual school, country-wide, to ensure that proper operational arrangements are made before the opening of schools for the first term of 2022.

“As Treasury, we can confidently say, with the release of the latter (K324 million), concrete steps towards free education aimed at abolishing tuition, Parent Teachers Association, and examination fees that learners used to pay in public schools, are now in motion,” he said.

Mr Nkulukusa added that, Bursaries for vulnerable leaners; to be allocated through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), will also be released as soon as the guidelines are completed and approved by relevant authorities.

“We take this opportunity to state that the Treasury has also commenced capacity building programmes on public resource management. The first target are the teaching staff, country-wide, who are being oriented on the handling of the operational support fund for public schools, to ensure that there is prudence in the management of the increased resources,” he stated.

Mr Nkulukusa further said concerning the funds for farmers, competent authorities in charge have been urged to ensure that a fair and transparent payment system is deployed so that the hardships experienced by the farmers due to delayed payments, are not prolonged.

“With the release of the K960 million, outstanding payments to farmers for the 2020/2021 season have now reduced by 59% from K1.63 billion to K670 million. Our target is to dismantle the whole outstanding amount as soon as possible,” he said.

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