Zimbabwe’s 2018 budget deficit seen at 11.7 percent of GDP – finmin

Finance Minister Prof. Mthuli Ncube

HARARE, (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s budget deficit for this year is expected to be higher than previously projected at 11.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product and fall to 5 percent next year, Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Thursday.

Ncube also said in a statement that the economy of the southern African nation is now expected to grow 4 percent this year from 6.3 percent forecast earlier due to an economic slowdown in second half of the year.

Zimbabwe’s year-on-year inflation for this calendar year is forecast at 25.9 percent by end of this year, and seen falling to 5 percent by the end of 2019.

The Minister of Finance says that the government will go ahead with implementing parastatal reforms, with five of them set for privatisation in 2019. Presenting the 2019 budget in Parliament today, Minister Ncube had this to say

Government is going ahead to implement the long-delayed parastatal reforms as these institutions ought to play a key role in transforming the economy, among the several drivers we need to embrace. Mr Speaker Sir, following consultations, I place it on record that we are forging ahead with rolling out our parastatal reforms on a rollout template which categorises the entities under the following:

• State-Owned Enterprises to be partially privatised through JVs and/or listing;
• State-Owned Enterprises to be fully privatised; and
• State Owned Enterprises facing liquidation.

The 2019 Budget proposes the privatisation of at least 5 public enterprises, namely Tel-One/Net-One/Telecel, ZIMPOST andPOSB. The 2019 Budget assumes proceeds of at least US$350 million being raised from privatisation.