FINANCE and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube yesterday announced a $421.6 billion National Budget for 2021 in which he handed down tax relief measures to cushion workers and corporates in line with the Government’s thrust to steer increased production and widen the job market.
The minister had to strike a delicate balance between maintaining a tight macro-economic policy, incentivising production and cushioning workers and vulnerable groups, as he presented his budget in Parliament, amid constant nods of approval by members of the August House.
Coming out of a background of austerity measures and the recent macro-economic and natural disaster shocks in the last two years, the 2021 budget buttresses the inclusive ideals of the National Development Strategy (NDS 1: 2021-2025).
President Mnangagwa launched the new blueprint last week to lead the way towards Vision 2030, succeeding the short-term Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), which has scored major milestones and comes to an end next month.
ZImbabwe’s economy is set to grow by more than 7,4 percent in 2021 after contracting by 4,1 percent this year, with mining, agriculture and moderating inflation anchoring the recovery, finance minister Mthuli Ncube said yesterday.
Other budget highlights to the national budget includes,
- Year-on-year inflation forecast to close 2021 at 9%
- The economy is projected to add 151,000 formal jobs in 2021
- Govt revenues projected at ZWL$390.8 billion (2020: ZWL$173bn)
- Govt plans to spend ZWL$421,6bn in 2021, against ZWL$178,5bn this year
- Landlords of commercial complexes housing small traders to collect equivalent of US$30 presumptive tax from tenants every month
- Economy estimated to contract by -4.1% in 2020, reflecting weak demand due to necessary lockdown.
- This suppressed output, productivity and capacity utilisation.
- COVID-19 pandemic hit an economy already dealing with devastating impacts of climatic shocks of drought, Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth.
- Mining, manufacturing, tourism, construction, distribution and other service sectors faced the full negative impact of containment measures.
- Agriculture was less affected as the summer cropping season was almost over when the pandemic hit.
- Government reprioritised budget allocations and announced $18.2 billion Stimulus Package to save lives and livelihoods.
The national budget can be downloaded here