Polytechnic based economic expert Dr Betchani Tchereni has advised the Ministry of Finance to incorporate views of more people from rural areas during the ongoing pre-budget consultation meetings for the 2021-2022 national budget.
Tchereni said pre-budgetary meetings are very important because citizens are accorded opportunity to state exactly how the budget should be shaped.
Ntchereni said: “The fact that we are in a democratic period and things must not just be imposed on the people so it is important for them to participate by giving their inputs on what issues should the budget address.”
He sighted that more especially the development part of the budget is very important.
“For instance, you may go to an area where the community wants a clinic but government is budgeting for a road so the people can’t appreciate that the government funds are being utilized accordingly,” said Tchereni.
He further commended the ministry for carrying out pre-budget consultation meetings yearly saying the initiative instills confidence in people as they feel incorporated.
Commenting on the impact that the previous meetings have brought, Dr. Tchereni said there have been a number of successes that were registered.
He mentioned the immediate past budget where the tax threshold was raised after people complained that it was too low against the cost of living.
The expert also mentioned the increase in minimum wage and the budget for the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) as a result of people’s voice.