Updates by: Wadzanai Mhombera

1616: Minister Chinamasa concludes presentation. Says budget reflects new economic order as enunciated by President Mnangagwa

1609: Re-organisation of the Beitbridge Border Post to enable real time entry and timely clearing of goods, to minimise delays, etc. Minister Chinamasa proposes extension of Operation Restore Legacy to the border post to restore order at the port of entry ….to remove touts and vendors at Beitbridge Border Post. Defence Forces to coordinate with other security services on this mission.

1608: Mining fees and charges – proposing downward review of ground rentals

1602: Rutenga now a port of entry with effect from next year

1600: 2018 elections allocated US$132 million

1555: $905.5 million to education ministry

1544: Projected budget of $5.1 billion. Minister Chinamasa’s budget for 2018 is US$5.1 billion

1544: In 2018, government to account for all public expenditure

1543:To implement ease of doing business reforms.

1542: Local content policy – government formulating it to create value in the economy

1537: Govt will, through the Finance Bill, amend the Indigenisation Act to bring into effect the following; in the extractive sector the 51/49 will only affect diamond and platinum, not the rest of the extractive sector, which Zimbabwe will work with any investor irregardless of nationality.

1536: Strategy to engage the US and Europe at the highest level is being pursued. Government to prioritise re-engagement with multilateral financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank

1527: Government to reduce diplomatic missions, reduce diplomatic staff at those missions.

1525: Foreign travel – government to reduce the number of people travelling. Where Zimbabwe has diplomatic representation, those will represent the country, to reduce travelling costs.

1523: In view of financing challenges, only one personal issue vehicle to permanent secretaries. Principal directors, deputy directors will be facilitated loans to purchase own vehicles, as opposed to being issues with personal issue vehicles.

1522: More than 3000 youth officers must go, says Minister Chinamasa, adding government will be abolishing their posts.

1519: Public service structure – proposes rationalising of posts to avoid duplication of duties in line with the leaner cabinet. Those who have reached retirement age must retire. In 2018, government in consultation with the PSC will retire civil servants who have reached retirement age of 65.

1517: Unsustainable budget deficit needs to be addressed – need for fiscal discipline, need to reduce the share of employment costs from 85% to 70% in 2018. Arbitrary reversal of cabinet agreements needs to be addressed.

1515: Exports remain the major source of liquidity. Incentives for horticulture

1512: To deal with cash shortages, corruption and indiscipline, create an investor friendly-environment. Exports will be critical to deal with cash shortages. Cash shortages are a symptoms of many challenges facing the economy – need to increase use of plastic/mobile money by enhancing their availability in rural areas, enforce traders acceptance of mobile money

1510: 2018 measures; to restore marketing confidence, policy consistency, credibility and predictability, a new economic order

1509: $1.2 billion domestic debt, mainly treasury bills

1508: Budget deficit to reach $1.7 billion for 2017

1507: Revenues have out-performed targets this year. By year end revenue totals are expected to reach $3.9 billion

1506: Appreciable narrowing of trade balances from $2 billion to about $1.5 billion. 

1503: Budget is meant to address the low confidence levels, low production, high unemployment rate, foreign currency shortages. Economy is on track to realise the projected 3.7 growth rate for 2017. For 2018 growth is expected to reach 4.5 percent.

1500: Minister Chinamasa on the floor to present the budget. Acknowledges the presence of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the house.

We shall be giving you live updates of the 2018 National Budget to be presented by Finance and Economic Planning Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa in Parliament at 3pm.