19 November 2017
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Saturday, 04 November 2017 21:15

Low absorption rate of sector funds worry Dowa Councilor

Written by  Stanley Nkhondoyachepa

Dowa, November 3, 2017: A Dowa Ward Councilor has expressed concern over low absorption rate of funds in different government sectors in the district, observing this would delay development in the district as money was being underutilized. 

Kayembe Ward Councilor, Simeon Nyemba made the observation during the first quarter Finance Committee Report presentation during the Dowa District Council ordinary full council meeting which took place in the District Council Chambers Thursday.

He said it was disheartening to note that many government sectors have not spent their budgets to the required rate, saying this meant funds were lying idle instead of doing what it is intended for.

Nyemba gave examples of the Education, Water, Youth and Sports Sectors, among others, which have so far only spent 32 per cent, 12 per cent and 13 per cent respectively from their total budget allocation, way far below the 50 per cent expenditure requirement as at this stage.

“The education sector has total revenue of K146, 163, 698.99 but has so far spent K47, 179, 492. 26 representing 32 per cent absorption rate. Likewise, the Water Sector and Youth and Sports with total revenue of K1, 080,500.00 and K1, 868,600.00 respectively, have only spent K133, 716.42 and K246, 106.83 representing a 12 per cent and 13 per cent absorption rate respectively”.

“This means that funds are just lying idle, we need to do something about this so that all revenue is utilized” he said.

The committee however recommended that Members of Parliament from the district should continue to lobby for smooth cash flows and disbursement to councils, observing that some of the reasons for low absorption rate in some sectors was due to late disbursement and processing of payments in finance from the government.

On locally generated revenue, the committee noted that there was no revenue collection from commercial ventures since Madisi Bar and Rest house was tendered out.

The report stated that 29 per cent of the total budget was achieved in the first quarter through local revenue collection which is unsatisfactory considering that much of the revenue is expected to come from commercial ventures.

Many government sectors have currently devolved and will soon be required to handle devolved functions initially done by the central government which include filling vacancies of some posts as well as funding some development projects using locally generated revenue, among others.

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