Mid-term Budget set for Thursday Minister Chinamasa
Minister Chinamasa

Minister Chinamasa

Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, will present the 2016 mid-term national budget review statement on Thursday with a major focus on rationalisation of jobs in the civil service.

The Government currently spends about $200 million monthly in salaries, a figure that it says is not sustainable.

The 2016 $4 billion National Budget projected an economic growth rate of 2,7 percent driven largely by agriculture and the mining sector.

There were delays in presenting the mid-term budget review.

However, Minister Chinamasa said on Friday in Victoria Falls that the delay in presenting the statement had enabled him, for the first time, to include data for the month of June. “The mid-term budget review statement is coming. I will deliver it on Thursday September 8,” said Minister Chinamasa.

“We delayed because of commitments and my unavailability but that helped us in a way because we now have all data for the month of June, which is a new thing altogether. All data has been processed and I will present it on Thursday,” he said.

He said the review would, among others things, touch on job rationalisation in the civil service.

Government last month froze recruitment and promotions in the civil service as part of staff rationalisation following an audit by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Recently, the PSC abolished more than 8 000 posts in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. This was meant to reduce the Government’s wage bill which is estimated to take up 83 percent of the National Budget.

Minister Chinamasa said significant savings were being made as a result of the rationalisation, but he could not be drawn into giving details saying he would tackle that on Thursday in the budget review.

“Cabinet came up with a rationalisation strategy last year and ratified the decision in June this year. In terms of how much we are saving, we have made some savings but I will deal with that in the statement,” he said.

The minister is also expected to give an update on arrears to multilateral financial institutions with Government working on strategies to finalise its agreement to repay $1,8 billion it owes to the World Bank, African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Minister Chinamasa said there was no deadline for repayment of the debt as engagements were a continuous process.

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