Zimbabwe’s budget deficit is projected to reach $1.82 billion by year end from the initial $400 million according to Treasury amid calls by parliamentarians and state economic actors attending the pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls for concerted efforts in containing the deficit.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said the 2018 national budget will be anchored on the need to strengthen fiscal discipline, stimulating productivity and addressing the unsustainable budget deficit which is now projected at $1.82 billion by December 2017.

The Treasury boss is optimistic of a 3 percent growth for the domestic economy in 2018 while revenue collections are expected to reach $3.9 billion by year end against a target of $3.7 billion.

In his keynote address Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda stressed the need for domestic resource mobilisation and narrowing of the budget deficit to 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 as enunciated in the Treasury 2018 pre-budget strategy paper.

Southern Africa Parliamentary Support Trust executive director Mr John Makamure expressed confidence the seminar will see honest interrogation of challenges facing the domestic economy.

The 2018 revenues are projected at $4 billion while exports are expected to rise to $4.6 billion.

According to Treasury the projected 3 percent real GDP growth for next year will depend on normal rainfall patterns, improvements in commodity prices and scaled up funding for agriculture.