Some legislators have welcomed the 2015 national budget in the face of limited financial resources while others have dismissed it as a mere formality.
The US$4.1 billion budget presented by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa drew mixed reactions from legislators across the political divide.
Gokwe-Kabuyuni National Assembly member Leonard Chikomba said while resources are limited, interventions by government to finance agriculture in the current cropping season will ensure food security.
“The Minister is in a tight corner because there is no money, but on agriculture he was spot on, no one will die of hunger,” said Chikomba.
MDC Renewal president Tendai Biti said the finance minister faced a difficult situation and merely went through the formality of presenting the budget, while MDC-T legislator Nelson Chamisa described the budget’s 3.2 percent growth rate target as unrealistic.
“Last year’s budget was exactly the same amount so a US$3.5 billion budget would have been a more realistic target and secondly, he has got a problem he acknowledged companies are closing but what is the solution,” Biti said.
“The facts he is giving are indicating that there is going to be a slowdown, there is a meltdown that is coming yet he pronounces like a prophet declaring on a mountain. It is not backed by facts,” said Chamisa.
Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke said while the budget has remained almost static, incentives for exporters should stimulate production while Norton’s Christopher Mutsvangwa expressed pleasure wit the forthcoming bill on special economic zones.
“We appreciate the new measure particularly on support to exporters where the Minister of Finance has realised that to realise more revenue there must be higher levels of production, particularly because of the export,” said Kereke.
“It will create new production capacity in the land; it will link Zimbabwe with some of the best companies in the global market place to come and produce world quality goods made in Zimbabwe for the international market place. We are now addressing the index of readiness to do business in Zimbabwe,” said Mutsvangwa a losing Zanu (PF) Central Committee candidate.
The 2015 national budget projects a 3.2 percent growth with agriculture production and tourism performance expected to remain positive while the growth in mining is expected to fall to 2 percent due to falling international metal prices.