biti presenting budget.jpgThe country’s fiscal authorities say they are in the process of finalising the fiscal policy statement and have since proposed the 22nd of November for the presentation of the eagerly awaited 2012 National Budget.

The 2012 National Budget statement, which is set to address current challenges facing the economy and stimulate growth in the key sectors of the economy, is almost ready for presentation with the concerned ministry having considered the estimates of expenditure proposals submitted to the ministry.

In a telephone interview with ZBC News, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Willard Manungo confirmed that significant progress has been made in the crafting of the statement, adding that the presentation is expected to take place on the 22nd of November. 

Observers and economic analysts agree the Finance Minister, Mr Tendai Biti faces a tough task in seeking to balance the demand of several stakeholders who include business community, households, workers as well as key ministries in light of the depressed fiscal space.

Despite the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA)’s positive performance during the third quarter of the year which has raised optimism that the US$1,8 billion revenue collection target will be surpassed, the country still has a constrained fiscal space given the absence of external budgetary support.

Lack of funding, subdued aggregate demand, uncompetitive interest rates and unreliable power supplies remain some of the major challenges affecting the economy, a situation which is threatening the attainment of the envisaged growth of over 9,3 %.

Last year, Minister Biti presented a US$2,7 billion budget and indications are that government faces a US$700 million deficit as expenditure has so far exceeded revenue.