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Thursday, May 23, 2024

National Budget(2024) presentation set for November

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

PREPARATIONS for the 2024 national budget set to be presented next month are in motion as Zimbabwe targets growth and development-oriented policies.

The Government will this week set the tone for further consultations at the Parliament of Zimbabwe Pre-budget seminar that will be attended by parliamentarians, government ministers, economic experts, treasury and central bank officials.

According to the four-day pre-budget seminar programme, the focus will be on inflation and exchange rate stability, national competitiveness, allocation of resources, consumer spending, tax incentives, land utilisation, production, inclusive social protection, improved quality of life, access to health and education, housing delivery, infrastructure development, cost of production and a positive external balance position, among others.

Captains of industry and commerce last week also submitted their 2024 national budget proposals that are centred on consolidating gains and scaling up domestic resource mobilisation.

“Basically the thrust should focus on infrastructure investments whereby more resources are allocated to sustain the ongoing public sector projects with the key priorities being the awarding of the tenders to the locals to ensure that they can continue to play a pivotal role in economic development, therefore to meet the ever increasing demand for infrastructure services from a growing economy, there is need to raise new financial resources into this sector that is sustainable and long term to reduce the negative effects of budgetary resources on macroeconomic stability,” said Steel Makers Limited Business Development Manager, Mr Hense Florian.

“The budget should focus on several measures to mitigate risks because despite the current growth trajectory, there is the need to guard against price and exchange rate instabilities, therefore containing exchange rates volatility and domestic inflation should be a key focus of the national budget to boost market confidence, investment and competitiveness of industries,” said Mwana Group Managing Director, Dr. Kuda Mutenda.

“Health and Education are key areas of focus including social protection units to ease poverty therefore it is my belief that focus should be on such key facets that further guarantee improved health care, basically resources should be allocated to key ministries,” said Border Timbers Director, Mr Bernard Makoni.

The 2024 national budget will be presented at a time when data from fiscal authorities shows that the economy continues to register growth rates above National Development Strategy One annual average targets, achieving Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rates of 8, 5 percent and 5, 5 percent in 2021 and 2022.

Treasury is projecting a more than five percent growth for this year driven by mining, agriculture, construction, retail and distribution, tourism and manufacturing, among other sectors.

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