Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamassa, yesterday presented the national budget for 2017. Total expenditure was pegged at $4.1 billion with total revenue expected to be $3.7 billion. This means that the nation has budgeted for a deficit of around $400 million. Mid year 2016, the nation had a deficit of over $600 million with the minister saying the deficit could reach $1 billion if civil servant’s bonuses were paid. The deficit for 2016 had initially been estimated to be $150 million. Minister Chinamasa did not make any indication as to whether or not civil servants will receive their bonuses for 2016. Bonuses for 2015 were only paid from April of 2016 in staggered amounts after government had failed to make the payments. The minister also did not make any reference to bond notes of the financial crisis that has gripped the nation.
Interesting points to note were :
- Economic growth is expected to be 1.7%. Economic growth in 2016 was 0.6%
- The civil service wage bill for 2017 will use $3 billion
- Total expenditure is expected to be $4.1 billion and revenue is expected to be $3.7 billion, leaving a $400 million deficit
The rest of the highlights of the national budget presentation can be found here : (2017-budget-highlights)