Zim Expects US$500 Million Budget Deficit

Biti was responding to Mbire MP, Paul Mazikana in parliament on whether the government will have a supplementary budget this year. Biti said the country will not have a supplementary budget this year as the fiscus does not have ways of paying the supplementary budget. On government workers salary increases Biti said the expenses of the government are already over-stretched adding that they will be no civil servants salaries.

“There will be no supplementary budget this year. When you have a supplementary budget you must have the capacity to increase your revenues. We already project at the present moment a fiscal deficit of US$500 million,” Biti said.

Biti told parliamentarians that treasury will not be able to increase salaries of civil servants due to the poor performance of the economy adding that this year the country has not received a cent from the disputed diamond revenues.

He said in the first half of the year government officials have used US$30 million for foreign travel, a huge figure during the middle of the year appealing to governmetn departments to cut foreign travel.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and other government ministers attended the parliament on Wednesday when Biti made the revelations.

President Robert Mugabe’s foreign trips are financed by treasury and this year he went to Singapore more than four times with reports saying he will be visiting his doctors for medical check up. At one time, Mugabe who travels with a large delegation whenever he travels on government business is said to have splashed US$ 7 million for a trip to Malaysia.