HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube has piled up further austerity measures for crisis-weary Zimbabweans by introducing salary cuts for civil servants and requiring that import duty for vehicles and other goods be paid for in forex as he projected a 3.1 percent economic growth for 2019 although fiscal deficits would still dog the country’s economy.
Zimbabwe’s economy is expected to grow by 4 percent this year after a rebasing of productivity in the country. The “impact of unfavourable weather on agriculture and macro-fiscal vulnerabilities from previous unsustainable fiscal and current account deficits” are expected to weigh in on 2019 economic growth.
Ncube, whose 2019 budget statement was marred by the commotion in the house of assembly which prompted opposition legislators to walk-away, said Zimbabwe’s nominal grow domestic product (GDP) for 2019 would be about US$31.6 billion (R435bn).
The country is expected to generate revenues amounting to US$6.6bn in the coming year, with including retentions expected to contribute US$400 million, tax collections amounting to US$6.037bn and no- tax income seen at US$162m.
However, government expenditures are projected to soar to US$8.2bn, on the back of capital expenditures estimated to be at US$2.018bn. This effectively leaves out about US$6.1bn for current expenditures, translating to a deficit of $1.6bn, which represents about “5 percent of GDP” for the year.