Ncube presents ZW$4.2 trillion budget

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Harare (New Ziana) – Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof. Mthuli Ncube on Thursday presented a ZW$4.2 trillion national budget for next year, to be financed through projected revenue collections of ZW$3.9 trillion, and a mixture of other funding options.

Ncube said the budget was tailored to the country’s development blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), and prioritised economic growth and stability.

He said the centre piece of this was creating a conducive macro-economic environment to support robust economic growth to help reduce poverty across all regions and communities, in keeping with government’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind.

“Mr Speaker Sir, in line with the projected real GDP growth rate of 3.8 percent and a nominal GDP of ZWL$21.8 trillion, total revenue collections are projected at ZWL$3.9 trillion (18 percent of GDP), whilst expenditures are set at ZWL$4.2 trillion (19.5 percent of GDP) in 2023,” he said.

“An overall deficit of ZWL$336.9 billion (1.5 percent of (GDP) is projected in 2023 and loan repayments amounting to ZWL$248.6 billion, resulting in total financing requirement of ZWL$585.5 billion during 2023, to be financed through: VFEX bond issuance, external loan disbursement, Treasury bills issuances, and Special Drawing Rights draw downs.”

In terms of allocations, Ncube gave the highest budget allocation to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, followed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in line with the government’s desire to ensure universal access to education and health care.

“Health and Child Care has been allocated ZWL$473.8 billion for the provision of health care services to citizens. Primary and Secondary Education has been allocated ZWL$631.3 billion to provide quality infant, junior and secondary education, with the bulk of the allocation going towards payment of salaries for teachers and other learning costs,” he said.

“Mr Speaker Sir, in line with the Constitution, every child has a right to basic education. In pursuit of the policy of free basic education, the Budget will direct resources towards increased free education coverage.”

The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, was allocated ZWL$156.5 billion, mainly for development of a skilled and competent human capital, including support to universities, teachers’ colleges and polytechnic colleges.

“In line with the commitments and the need to ensure a knowledge driven economy, an amount of ZWL$777 billion is being allocated to both primary and secondary, as well as higher and tertiary education. Research and innovation will be supported, including the development of a second space satellite,” he said.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development followed with an allocation of ZWL$362.5 billion, most of which is for programmes to ensure food security in the country, such as input support schemes, management of the Strategic Grain Reserve, water harvesting and irrigation development.

In pursuit of the country’s brand building agenda, Ncube allocated ZWL$8.6 to the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.

“Mr Speaker Sir, information and communication play a pivotal role in presenting Government policy and portraying the image of the country both to the foreign and domestic audience, especially under the NDS1 pillar of Image Building, International Engagement and Re-engagement,” he said.

To undertake their constitutional mandates, Independent Commissions were also allocated funding.

The Judicial Service Commission got ZWL$37.9 billion, the Public Service Commission, ZWL$107.5 billion, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, ZWL$4.7 billion while the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, was given ZWL$3 billion.

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