Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube this afternoon presented the 2020 National Budget statement mainly premised around bolstering productivity while it also seeks to ensure inclusive development by incentivizing job creation in local companies particularly for the youths.
Running under the theme, “Gearing for Higher Productivity, Growth And Job Creation,” the budget is anchored on five pillars of productivity and growth, job creation, competitiveness of local industry, sustainable development and export diversification.
The finance minister proposed a ZWL$ 63.6 billion budget for year 2020, against projected revenue of ZWL$ 58.6 billion which translates to 1.5 percent budgetary deficit- a bit commendable.
Growth is expected to around the margin of three percent up from -6 percent this year.
Inflation is expected to drop to a single digit figure level in 2020 from over 500 percent recorded during the course of the year as macro-economic stabilization is expected in the coming year.
The agriculture sector which is a key component of the economy is expected to grow five percent on account of better rainfall this year and timely disbursement of inputs, the minister said.
The Mining sector is also projected for a 4.5 percent rebound in 2020 as electricity supply is expected to improve without negating production as the case in 2019.
Key allocations have been made to various sectors to stimulate sustainability as follows:
-Agriculture sector has been granted ZWL$ 1.9 billion with agricultural extension services receiving ZWL$ 281.5 million and Irrigation program getting ZWL$ 422 million.
-Former white farmer interim compensation program – ZWL$ 380 million
-Industrial Development Corporation – ZWL$ 240 million
-Guarantee scheme for companies to access credit for retooling to Ministry of Industry- ZWL 368 million
-Ministry of Tourism – ZWL$ 291 million
-Housing – ZWL$ 2.68 million
-Mining – ZWL$ 293.2 million
-Infrastructure development of road (1.2 billion) and dams (1.4 billion) got a total of ZWL$ 2.6 billion.
-Overall Infrastructure development in Transport – ZWL$ 4.5 billion, energy sector ZWL$ 8.9 billion, water and sanitation sector ZWL$ 2.9 billion, Health infrastructure ZWL$ 2 billion and Education infrastructure ZWL$ 1.9 billion
– Local authorities – ZWL$ 2.73 billion
-ICT programs – ZWL$ 341.7 million
-Harare-Beitbridge dualisation –ZWL$ 1 billion
-Rural feeder roads- ZWL$ 123 million
-Mass urban transport system –ZWL$ 540 million
-Health – ZWL$ 6.5 billion
-Education – Ministry of Primary and secondary education ZWL$ 8.5 billion while the ministry of Higher Tertiary education got ZWL$ 2.2 billion
– Defence –ZWL$ 3.11 billion
-Home affairs –ZWL$ 2.8 billion
-Correctional Service –ZWL$ 709 million
-Parliament –ZWL$ 1.87 billion
The minister went on to propose various social protection schemes aimed at buttressing the vulnerable in the face of tough economic times. The budget also marked the end of austerity.
Various productivity enhancing remedies and incentives were also put in place particularly with the setting up credit guarantee schemes for local manufacturing and mining industries to help in the retooling process of most firms who machinery are obsolete.
A new innovation to encourage youth employment by providing tax relief to employers who employ young people below the age of 30 has also been put in place dubbed the Youth Employment Tax Incentive (YETI) with government also rolling up a ZWL$ 500 million fund towards youth entrepreneurship.
263Chat Business will analyse the 2020 National Budget In detail tomorrow.