Political developments scuttle national budget presentation plan

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GOVERNMENT has up to the end of January next year in terms of the Public Finance Management Act to present the 2018 national budget, an official has said.

The upcoming budget was due for presentation last Thursday but due to recent political developments in the country, it could not be presented.

The new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa was only sworn in last Friday and is expected to announce a new Cabinet soon.

Speaking by telephone last week, the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Budget chairman, Mr David Chapfika said fiscal policy for next year was supposed to be presented before the end of this year but this was not feasible due to recent political developments.

“Everyone is aware of the new political dispensation in our country and the new President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) will have to come up with a new Cabinet soon whose Finance and Economic Development Minister will announce the 2018 national budget,” he said.

Formulation of the 2018 national budget has been completed and Parliamentarians and several Government officials early this month held pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls.

“The new President is expected to be briefed on the upcoming budget priorities by the incoming Minister of Finance and Economic Development,” said Mr Chapfika.

The legislators and Government ministers called on among other resolutions for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to prioritise projects under implementation such as Gwayi-Shangani Dam when it comes to allocation of resources.

Meanwhile, the 2017 national budget deficit is expected to be $5.582 billion.