HARARE: Some highlights from the 2016 budget presentation by finance minister Patrick Chinamasa in Parliament on Thursday.
Economy seen growing by 2.7 percent in 2016 VS 1.5 percent in 2015
Inflation to average -1.2 percent in 2016
Total budget envelope for 2016 at $4 billion
Recurrent expenditure, at $3.685 billion, is 92.1 percent of budget
Revenue projected at $3.85bn in 2016, $150 million deficit (1.1pct of GDP) to be funded through local borrowings
Finance Minister pins hope for economic recovery on re-engagement with international lenders
Education gets biggest share of budget, $810 million, while home affairs ($396mln) and defence ($357mln) get a combined 19pct of budget
Health allocated $330 million in the 2016 budget
Government wage bill seen at $3.919 billion in 2016
Streamlining of the wage bill, mainly targeting youth officers, agricultural extension workers, non-payment of salaries to teachers at non-government schools and reduction of student teacher allowances, set to save $14.2 million monthly or $170mln annually
Civil service employment figures, minus army establishment, jump 36pct since dollarization, from 203,000 in 2009 to 276,000 in 2014.
Exports are expected to grow to $3,7 billion next year from $3,4 this year
Imports projected to decline marginally from $6,3 billion in 2015 to $6,2bn next year.
Gold production to reach 20.1 tonnes in 2016, VS 18.7 tonnes in 2015 and still below all-time high of 29t in 1999
Royalties on gold reduced to 3pct from 5pct
Government to take over Ziscosteel’s debt and lay off all workers, new investor sought after collapse of Essar deal