Mthuli Ncube: Zim on course to meet the 2020 budget deficit target. Mthuli Ncube said he would not seek additional funding this year since the national Treasury had spent less than half of its budget despite pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube yesterday said the country was on track to meet its budget deficit target of 1,5% of GDP in 2020 in a key update that was absent from his mid-term budget last week.
“I am still focusing on a budget deficit of 1,5% of GDP and we are well on our way to achieving that,” Ncube said during a review of the half-year budget held virtually. This would be an improvement on last year’s 4% deficit. It was not clear why that figure was omitted from last week’s presentation.
Economic analysts are worried that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is trying to balance the budget at the expense of spending more on social services such as the health sector, even as it grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Zimbabwe is in the grip of its worst economic crisis in more than a decade that has seen a sharp devaluation of its currency and inflation running above 700%, one of the highest in the world.
The government has spooked investors by temporarily shutting the stock exchange saying it was being used to sabotage the economy. Ncube said the local bourse would only be reopened once investigations into its activities were concluded in two weeks.
He added that a planned US dollar stock exchange in the resort town of Victoria Falls was set to open next month after Parliament enacted a law for its establishment.
The stock market halted trade on June 29, after the government accused the exchange of being one of the platforms undermining the feeble Zimbabwe dollar.
Source – NewsDay
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