By Alois Vinga
FINANCE Minister, Mthuli Ncube says his Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), working in tandem with a host of other policy interventions, managed to deliver a ZWL$1.195 billion in terms of budget surplus during the period January 2019 up to June 2020.
The Treasury boss’s pronouncements are contained in a document released by the Finance Ministry.
“Deficits turned into surpluses since January 2019. Cumulative surplus of ZWL$395.5 million was realised by December 2019. Another Surplus of ZWL$800 million was realised for the period January to June 2020,” says the document.
The document further claims the surplus served as a buffer for natural calamities that came in the form of the 2019 Cyclone Idai, drought and Covid-19 pandemic.
In the document, Ncube further says the surplus helped support social services delivery, social protection and infrastructure development.
Ncube insists a number of projectsa have been completed under the country’s welfare cluster and these include building of new health centres and the renovation of hospitals.
The treasury boss claims his reforms have seen the acquisition and installation of new hospital equipment and recruitment of additional health workers.
“Special allowances for health Covid-19 frontline workers were paid including the restructuring of the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” he said.
The reforms are also credited for establishing a National Venture Capital Fund to the tune of ZWL$500 million and a steering committee has been set up to drive the process.
On the expenditure side, the TSP reforms managed to bring down the proportion of the public wage bill in the national budget from 92 percent in 2017 to below 50 percent, resulting in fiscal surpluses that have been invested in other key areas.