Government has increased salaries of junior civil servants by 20 percent.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has also hiked honoraria that traditional leaders receive.
Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe announced the increments when presenting the 2018/19 budget in Parliament today.
He said while junior workers will have a 20 percent hike, senior civil servants will have their salaries increased by 10 percent. The move means the government wage bill will be K392.0 billion, a 24.3 percent increase over the 2017/18 one.
In addition, government also plans to recruit 10,500 primary school teachers, 500 secondary school teachers and 1,000 medical personnel.
On chiefs’ honoraria, Gondwe said Paramount chiefs will be receiving K100,000 from K50,000 after the budget is approved. Traditional Authorities and other traditional leaders have also had their honoraria revised upwards.
The 2018/19 budget includes a K4.8 billion for youth programmes aimed to reduce youth unemployment that the country is currently experiencing.
According to Gondwe, under the program 5,000 youth aged between 18 and 30 years selected according to qualifications will be placed in various Ministries, Departments and Local Councils.
“The objective of this program is to equip the youth with knowledge, skills and ethics as a way of nurturing them for a career in the Civil Service as well as in the Private Sector,” Gondwe said.
Government has also introduced a tree planting programme that is expected to employ 10,000 youths.
The programme which has been allocated K5 billion will see young people working in groups planting and taking care of trees for a period of three years
The Department of Forestry in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has already identified areas which require reforestation. These areas will include road sides, forest reserves, river banks, bare mountains and other catchment areas.
“The identified areas, Mr. Speaker, Sir, will determine the types of trees to be planted, including fruit trees. It is expected that the youth, working in groups and in their localities, will plant and care for the trees. They will be supported by Government in a similar fashion as is the case with the public works program,” Gondwe said.
Government hopes the programme will minimize the effects of deforestation and climate change that this country has experienced.