biti presenting budget.jpgWith less than three months before the end of the year, the country’s economic targets have come under scrutiny amid indications that most of them including the 9.3% anticipated economic growth will be missed. 

In 2010, the country’s economy recorded 8.1% growth on the back of the performance of the mining industry and agriculture, mainly tobacco output and the tourism industry.

It is against this back ground that government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Investment Promotion pegged economic growth for this year at 9.3%.

This year’s growth is under threat from various sectors which have failed to produce the desired results, with agriculture being the major sector hit hard by the unavailability of funds.

Out of the projected 45 000 hectares under wheat, the country only managed a mere 6 000 hectares while tobacco reached 132 million kilogrammes out of a projected 170 million kilogrammes.

One hopes these statistics will mean something to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Tendai Biti, who has been talkative about the growth targets while not funding the same sectors expected to push the growth targets.

Business consultant, Mr. Lovemore Matsika says the growth targets for this year are unrealistic considering that the nation is still emerging from an economic downturn.

With the rate at which inflation figures are surging, there is little hope that the country can achieve the 4.5% inflation by the year end coupled with the rate of price increases on the market.

9.3% growth is too high considering how the economy performed in the previous months and it will end the year at below 8%, explained Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president, Mr. Joseph Kanyekanye.

For Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president, Mr. Oswell Binha, there is still light at the end of the tunnel as stakeholders participate in ensuring that projected targets are met.

The Minister of Finance failed to fund agriculture adequately, hence the failure to meet the projected targets and questions have been raised on whether Mr. Biti is implementing what he preaches or he is just politicking.

Otherwise, the nation cannot continue to be subjected to empty promises.