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2019 National Budget statement

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Finance minister Mthuli Ncube delivers his maiden national budget statement in which he is expected to calm a spooked market and reassure the nation that the tanking economy can still be saved. The Budget comes at a time when prices of goods and services have gone up significantly while foreign currency stocks are declining, resulting in shortages of fuel and other basic commodities.

Updates by Tinotenda Samukange,Veneranda Landa,Ronald Magweta and Fidelity Mhlanga

Agriculture & Food Security

Development and transformation of the country is, to a larger extent dependent on our capacity and ability to produce and attain food security.

Furthermore, agriculture is a critical sector which sustains the rest of industry and contributes significantly to livelihoods, employment and export earnings for the country.

Therefore, the 2019 Budget prioritises support through facilitation of partnership with financial institutions in credit financing to our farmers under government schemes and contract farming as well as support to vulnerable households.

The Budget supports irrigation development,mechanisation and subsidy arrangements in grain marketing.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube

The other specific measures are as follows:

Roll out the revised 99 Year lease to facilitate private sector financing to the rest of the farmers;
Adopt measures that address low productivity in agriculture,including addressing land utilisation;
Dealing with price distortions by benchmarking to import parity;
Public Finances

Revenue collections for the nine months to September 2018 amounted to US$3.8 billion, against a target of US$3.4 billion, and by year end, collections of US$5.5 billion are anticipated.

On the other hand, total expenditures during the same period stood at US$6.5 billion, against a target of US$4.1 billion.

Accordingly, expenditure outturn to year end is estimated at US$8.2 billion against a budget of US$5.3 billion, implying an expenditure overrun of US$2.8 billion.

The 2018 Budget Deficit is projected at US$2.86 billion (11.7% of GDP), against a target of US$793 million.(Mthuli Ncube)

The month on month deficit developments, however, confirme that for the month of September 2018, the deficit level narrowed sharply. Hence, confirming that a balanced Budget position is achievable.

16:04 With effect from tomorrow, duty on cars will be paid in foreign currency.
As we are all aware, Government, under the New Dispensation set out a long term goal of transforming the country into an
Upper Middle Income Society – Vision 2030.

To achieve this Vision, Government developed a short term stabilisation strategy – the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (October 2018 – December 2020), which is already under
implementation.

Source: Newsday

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