Chinamasa's Mid-Term Budget Review in doubt

Chinamasa's Mid-Term Budget Review in doubt
Published: 22 July 2014
THE Mid-Term Budget Review statement was highly unlikely to be announced anytime soon, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament yesterday.

Chinamasa said this when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development where he explained that he had been too busy and away for a long time to find time to craft the review statement.

However, legislators were not impressed saying it was a statutory obligation which should be obeyed by Finance ministers.

The committee had invited Chinamasa to speak on progress in the implementation of policies and policy measures to address the current challenges facing the economy.

"I am looking at whether it is necessary for me to do the Mid-Term Budget Statement because I had been away and it is a matter that I had not paid attention to," said Chinamasa.

"I will have to check whether I can use my discretion on the Mid-Term Budget Review and whether it is a statutory obligation," he said.

On demonitisation of the Zimbabwean dollar, Chinamasa said he had asked legislators, economists and other experts to give him advice on how best it could be done, but to date no one had come up with suggestions to him.

He defended state institutions that retained part of their revenue collections saying they were justified as government was operating on a cash budget and failing to fund their operational costs from Treasury.

On the economic growth rate, he projected a figure that is below 6% saying it would be above what had been projected by others.
Chinamasa said he was struggling to service the civil servants' wage bill, but denied existence of ghost workers in government employ.

He encouraged people to deposit their money in banks in order to resolve the liquidity challenges, adding that Zimbabweans should also have a culture of paying taxes in order to avoid being garnished by the tax collector.

He said he was going to introduce a number of Bills to restore public and investor confidence in the banking sector and to instil good corporate governance at parastatals.

The minister said he was also agitating for an Insurance Pension Commission to supervise NSSA and other pension schemes.

- newsday
Tags: Chinamasa, Budget,

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