2019 MID TERM BUDGET REVIEW STATEMENT

Welcome to todays live blog coverage brought to you by Mr. A. Nyamuramba , Mrs C. Mpofu- Muvhami and Miss D. Makina.

The Hon. Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Rural Resettlement and Climate Change, Hon P. Shiri has just apologised for his conduct in the House yesterday.

Hon J. Chinotimba has lambasted the members of the opposition for boycotting todays session,which will be attended by  His Excellency, the President , Cde E. Mnangagwa.

The Speaker has reminded the members of the opposition that His Excellency is the Head of State, Government , Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces  and is recognised by the AU , UN and all bodies under the sun.

H.E’s position is clearly spelt out in Section 116 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The Speaker has ruled that the Members of the opposition should not be allowed to attend today’s sitting  and also forego their allowances.

The Hon Speaker has just adjourned the house in preparation for the arrival of H.E and the Minister of Finance Hon M. Ncube.

H.E the President of Zimbabwe Cde E. D. Mnangagwa has just entered the National Assembly Chamber and has taken his seat.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon Professor M. Ncube  has taken the stand and has begun to present the Mid Term Fiscal Review.

He has begun by capturing the key tenets noting that it is incumbent upon all of us to remain steadfast.

The Minister has announced that the current account is now balanced.

On expenditures he has noted that the Government’s expenditure  for January to June 2019 was $4.2 billion.

Concerning the budget balance for half of the year 2019 a surplus of   $803,6 million was realised.

He has postulated that all Treasury Bills were honoured by Government.

The Minister has pointed out that current account balance has had  a surplus of some  USD 106 million   registered in the first half of 2019 compared to a deficit during the same period in 2018.

The Minister has highlighted that the 1:1 bond note to USD exchange rate  became unsustainable. As a result a liberal inter-bank exchange rate came into operation and this has seen the decepitation of the run away parallel market rate.

The expected expenditure will be ZWL 18,62 billion against an expected income of ZWL 14.1 Billion .

He has  pointed out that Government had to cushion civil Servants and Pensioners because of the inflation.

In preparation of 2019 – 2020 Agricultural session the Government will set aside ZWL 1,67 Billion  in support of strategic grains production.

He reiterated that measures will be put in place to recover all the loans that are going to be disbursed to the farmers.

ZWL 630 Million has been set aside for the purchase of grains and logistics.

A gold finance facility is being put in place to support Fidelity Printers  to buy gold at  a rate of 55% being retained by  producers through nostro accounts and 45% being in local currency.

The drought has reduced the the production of electricity at Kariba , which has led to  power cuts.

Government has approved  with immediate effect new electricity tariffs among others for domestic and agriculture as follows:

Domestic  from 9,86 Zim Cents to 27 Cents per Kilo Watt Hour and  the same applies for Agriculture.

The Minister has stated that thee decision to upgrade the roads continues to offer benefits for road users.

To cater for road rehabilitation and resurfacing a total of 284.2 Million has been set aside to year end.

In the health Sector, to date four posts namely Dundwe , Minda , Kairezi  and Gumbochuma are now in the final stages of completion  and expected to be open  to communities in the third quarter of 2019.

With regards to central hospitals , refurbishment works for the medical gas reticulation system, theaters and incinerators at Mpilo and UBH have now been completed.

 

 

Administrator August 1, 20194:34 pm

Thank you for following our live blog today. Until next time , goodbye.

Administrator August 1, 20194:14 pm

In conclusion, the Minister has now tabled the appropriate 2019 Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure and proposed their adoption. It is the Ministers intention to later table relevant and pending financial adjustment bills for condonation.

Administrator August 1, 20194:12 pm

Fees and charges on services provided to foreign registered businesses such as airlines flying into Zimbabwe and haulage trucks transiting through Zimbabwe and services that include passports provided by the country’s forign mission will also be collected in foreign currency.

Administrator August 1, 20194:10 pm

The Minister has proposed continuation of payment of Carbon Tax , Third Party Insurance and Road Access Fees in foreign currency by foreign visitors.

Administrator August 1, 20194:08 pm

The Minister has proposed to allow existing licenced vendors to provide back -up service to devices supplied by operators that would have ceased operations.

Administrator August 1, 20194:06 pm

The Minister also noted that a number of tax payers deliberately delay remittance of tax to Government in order to fund their operations. In order to discourage tax payers from such practices he proposed to review the interest rate paid on outstanding debts from the current 5% plus Libor, to 25%.

Administrator August 1, 20194:03 pm

The Minister has proposed to review fees , levies and charges on Government services in line with economic developments.

Administrator August 1, 20194:01 pm

On mining Fiscal Review the Minister proposed the following key measures in support of the industry:Mineral royalties :Gold – The Minister proposed to review the royalty regime for primary producers from a two tier system to a sliding scale based on gold prices as follows :- below USD 1 200 per ounce – 3 % and above USD 1 200 per ounce – 5%.

Administrator August 1, 20193:57 pm

On taxation of direct fuel imports it has been noted that Government has approved the Direct Fuel imports Facility, in order to minimise disruptions to the production cycle due to the fuel supply gaps.. He has thus proposed to levy excise duty on Direct Fuel imports in foreign currency at a rate of USD 45 cents and USD 40 cents per liter of petrol and diesel respectively.

Administrator August 1, 20193:53 pm

The Minister has proposed to reduce the customs duty on selected raw materials used in the manufacture of motor vehicle filters.

Administrator August 1, 20193:51 pm

Offshore financial services sector – Zimbabwe is strategically located to host regional and international financial hub given its accessibility and good connectivity, which are some of the attributes necessary for successfully setting up of an OFSC. The adoption of our local currency is also a positive step towards attaining a stable currency , to attract investors.

Administrator August 1, 20193:48 pm

On indeginisation and Empowerment the Minister has pointed out that the 2018 Finance Ammendment Bill amended the Indeginisation and Empowerment Act and platinum and Diamond are now removed from the reserve list and shareholding will now depend on negotiation with investors

Administrator August 1, 20193:42 pm

During the first quarter of 2019. a total of US$117.8 Million was disbursed by Development Partners , of which US$71.2 Million was from bilateral Partners and US $46.6 Million was from Multilateral Partners.

Administrator August 1, 20193:40 pm

Government has introduced Urban Mass Public Transportation System to cushion the public from increases in transport costs resulting from fuel price correction after the introduction of the interbank foreign exchange market.

Administrator August 1, 20193:39 pm

Government has put in place safety nets for vulnerable groups to that end government has distributed 189 000 tons of grain in support of 757 000 households . The beneficiaries are both in Rural and Urban areas.

Administrator August 1, 20193:37 pm

He has pointed out that it was disconcerting to note that the accumulation of arrears to ZESA by cooperates, households and other entities irrespective of sub-optimal level obtaining and therefore urged all users to be responsible and pay up for services rendered.

Administrator August 1, 20193:35 pm

On Cyclone Idai , he commended Zimbabweans from all walks of life and development partners for their tremendous support towards the recovery efforts.

Administrator August 1, 20193:33 pm

On the devolution budget the Minister has noted that ZWL 310 Million was allocated in the 2019 Budget Disbursemments and to date disbursements stand at ZWL 120 Million .