Local currency 2024 national budget announcement next week

THE Treasury will announce the 2024 National Budget Statement on Thursday next week, which would consolidate the economic gains achieved so far and guide the continued transformation in line with Vision 2030.

Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, said the 2024 National Budget will be indexed in local currency and will be focused on ensuring that the Government attains an upper-middle income economy by 2030.

In an interview in Bulawayo yesterday where he donated goodies to King George VI Children’s Centre, he said the forthcoming National Budget principles will be guided by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1), which feeds into Vision 2030.

“The budget is consistent with the objectives of NDS1. There is a need to create a robust economy, which can generate decent jobs and higher incomes,” he said. 

“The 2024 National Budget will address key development areas that include the growth of the economy, stability, infrastructure, ICTs and digital economy, the health system, youths, women, devolution and decentralisation, among many other key issues,” said Prof Ncube.

“We have a local currency and it (budget) is indexed in local currency and we expect our budget to be within our usual ball-pack, which is an expenditure envelope. 

“This is about 19 percent of our gross domestic product. It is always determined by the size of the revenue we are able to source from the economy.

“At the moment its revenue GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio is 18 percent, meaning we can only spend within that ball pack. We are only going to spend 19 percent. We expect a small budget deficit of within one and a half percent of GDP, which is well within the realms of prudence,” said Prof Ncube.

He said the Government is proud to have maintained a manageable budget deficit and will continue to implement favourable policies to ensure budget sustainability.

He said the 2024 National Budget will be all-encompassing and is anchored on President Mnangagwa’s drive of leaving no one and no place behind.

“The budget will support those living with disabilities. It will speak to the community in the form of incentives and relief they will receive for assistive devices such as imported wheelchairs, dermatological creams for those with albinism,” Prof Ncube said.

The budget is also expected to extend social assistance to special groups such as the youth who are battling a ravenous drug scourge.

“The youth are currently having trouble with drugs and substance abuse based on various reasons and we have an adequate budget meant for that. We want to make sure that there is an adequate budget set aside to deal with that area so that they seek gainful enterprise elsewhere,” said Prof Ncube. 

“The budget will also speak to women. There is a Women’s Bank that needs loans and we will make sure we extend prescribed asset status to the Women’s and Youth Banks.” 

The minister said the Treasury has managed to work on a fixed budget that ensures a controlled economy.

“In terms of spending, we managed to live within our budget, we did not overspend. Government has and is making substantial savings. This is being achieved through the review of the procurement processes, including a requirement to exercise due diligence to avoid paying for overpriced products,” he said. 

“The Government is currently working on strengthening the Public Procurement Act, and relevant regulations, including the introduction of the e-procurement system. Already, the Government has set standardisation of prices of goods supplied to all Government departments.”

Prof Ncube said Zimbabwe’s economy is growing significantly and the country was recording surpluses in revenue collections.

“Surpluses are healthy for the economy for liquidity required to meet import requirements, currency stability and transaction purposes (multicurrency),” he said.

“The country is doing relatively well in terms of export receipts as compared to comparable countries in the region. Growth of imports are testimony of a thriving economy because the revenue generated is able to fund imports,” said Prof Ncube.

He said the previous budget registered several developmental achievements such as the refurbishment of airports, border posts, energy, water and sanitation, dam construction among others.

The main thrust of the 2023 National Budget was to accelerate economic development, generate money to pay civil servants and ensure the wide range of people needing help get it.

The budget ensured that macro-economic stability was tightened, and major fiscal prudence was maintained to ensure that continued growth was pushed forward.

The gross domestic product was expected to be $21,8 trillion, about 3,8 percent higher than the 2022 budget.

Estimates indicate revenue is likely to be around $3, 9 trillion, most of the money likely to be $3,5 trillion coming from taxes and the rest coming from fees and other sources.

Chronicle

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