September fiscal deficit down to $19m from projected $100m

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By Alois Vinga

THE government’s total expenditure for September exceeded income by $19 million, against a projected target $100 million, finance minister Mthuli Ncube has said.

Addressing Members of Parliament at a pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls, Thursday morning, Prof Ncube said measures implemented since August this year were yielding positive results.

“In September, after switching off the money ‘printing machine’ we almost reached break-even in reducing expenditure and we expect this to continue narrowing down.

“So, government overspent by $19 million against a target of $99 million,” he said.

The development suggests a positive thrust which may positively impact the government’s fiscal deficit which hit US$2,52 billion last year, representing 16,6 percent of gross domestic product.

Meanwhile, Ncube said moving into 2019, the budget debt ceiling as a ratio of the economy’s worth will not exceed 70 percent.

“The central bank’s lending to the State at any given time shall not exceed 20 percent of the previous year’s revenues and budget deficit reduction must go down to 4 percent of the GDP in 2019, and subsequently to 2,4 percent in 2020 and 2,2 percent by 2021,” he said.

The minister also insisted that there is urgent need to privatise non-performing parastatals.