Budget review set for next week

Prof. Mthuli Ncube

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, is expected to present his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review and ministerial statement on the state of the economy in Parliament on next Thursday

Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda on Wednesday announced the postponement of the presentation on the state of the economy so that the minister could combine the review and the ministerial statement on the state of the economy in the first six months into a single presentation.

Since the presentation of the $8,16 billion 2020 national budget last year, there has been a summer drought, the Covid-19 lockdown and more severe inflation than was expected. While Government expenditure has risen, with emergency salary adjustments for Government workers and social payments, so has the tax revenue as incomes rise, although few incomes have managed to match inflation.

Prof Ncube is expected to detail the trends in his presentation and give the actual figures as well as make budgetary provisions to cope with the rest of the year.

Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza, told the National Assembly that the price moratorium agreed with industry players had been ineffective due to foreign exchange volatility and profiteering by some players.

She said Government will continue engaging players to stabilise the economy and adopting other measures to stimulate local production and reduce the import bill.

Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos told Parliament that preparations for the 2020 summer cropping season were progressing well, with procurement of inputs for the Presidential Input Scheme at an advanced stage.

The scheme would focus on the Pfumvudza concept aimed at using water conservation methods, which is part of Government’s Agriculture Recovery Plan aimed at ensuring food security at household level within the available natural resources. – Herald