The business community has welcomed the US$2,7 billion budget presentation for 2011, saying it seeks to consolidate the existing macro-economic environment through measures that address economic constraints, although it remained silent on elections.
The 2011 National Budget framework has been presented following wide consultations from across the country and the Minister of Finance, Mr Tendai Biti addressed lack of funding in the agriculture sector but analysts say the funds allocated to the manufacturing sector are not sufficient to improve availability of raw materials.
Economist, Mr Christopher Mugaga said at face value, the budget framework is inclusive as it endeavours to consolidate the existing macro-economic situation, but there was no provision for the referendum and elections expected to be held next year.
“The budget itself looked at the shared transformation, shared development and growth, but looking at the case that we have got elections next year the budget was silent about that and this probably acting as a case of a budget that is unrealistic at this juncture,” said Mr Mugaga.
Businessman, Mr Malvern Chimutashu, said the budget failed to recognise the importance of the central bank in boosting confidence in the banking sector, adding that without the full recapitalisation of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), depositors will continue to shun the system.
The budget acknowledged that government failed to access funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and regional financial institutionsg but did not link this to prevailing sanctions.
Students at higher and tertiary institutions will start accessing loans next year following the allocation of US$15 million to the ministry.Â
The wage bill for civil servants has been increased from US$773 million to US$1.4 billion, while the upgrading of Hwange Thermal Power Station will get US$ 31.5 million to increase power generation.