Zimbabwe economy expected to grow by 4.5 pct in 2018

Lester Mason
December 8, 2017

Chinamasa said total revenue collections for 2018 are estimated at $5,071 billion and expenditure for the year is estimated at $5,743 billion, bringing up a deficit of $672 million.

The wage bill for 2018 is set at $3,3 billion, representing 57 percent of the total budget - down from 73 percent in 2017.

Presenting the first post-Mugabe national budget in Parliament, Chinamasa announced a 5.1 billion US dollars national budget for 2018, up from 4 billion dollars in 2017.

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Thursday presented a National Budget for 2018 that was seen by many as the right step towards the country's economic recovery.

This means that foreign investors in the platinum and diamond mining sector will be required to cede 51 percent shareholding to locals.

During his budget presentation, Chinamasa said the cleansing process targeting unlawful and illegitimate transactions, which includes money laundering, externalisation of foreign currency and underground foreign exchange deals would be severely dealt with.

"In this regard, business class travel will, with immediate effect, be restricted to the following categories: Ministers; Heads of Ministries and equivalent grades; parastatals chief executive officers; local authorities mayors, town clerks, chief executive officers; and constitutional commissioners", Chinamasa said.

He unveiled spending cuts including the closure of some diplomatic missions.

He said privatisation of some state firms was being considered.

Presenting the US$5.743 billion 2018 national budget in Parliament, Chinamasa said government was working on a raft of changes, among them retiring people in the civil service aged above 65, reducing government official travels, removing first-class flying for government officials, firing 3,739 youth officers and ward development coordinators from 3,530, which he said would save US$1.6 million per month (US$19.3 million per annum) as well as one vehicle per top government official.

It is hoped that there is now the political will to implement the new measures.

He said the government will strengthen agencies mandated with fighting corruption and make the fines more prohibitive as part of measures to fight the scourge.

In addition, government will double efforts to re-engage with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the European Investment Bank and all bilateral creditors to unlock funding for economic development, Chinamasa said. "Government will seek to attract both domestic and global investment through implementing investor friendly policies", he said.

At the same time, export taxes on processed platinum would be deferred until 2019.

Gross Domestic Product growth is estimated at 4,5 percent in 2018, up 0,8 percent from 3,7 percent in 2017.

The minister confirmed civil servants bonuses for 2017.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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