Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube has said the 2020 National Budget marks the exit from austerity to growth stimulation and employment generation era through promotion, production oriented investment and productivity without losing focus on fiscal responsibility, though 2019 budget failed to meet the demands of the people.
Presenting the 2020 national budget in Parliament yesterday, Ncube said the budget prioritises enhancing productivity for growth that creates better jobs and ensuring equity and inclusivity.
“Unfortunately, the 2019 budget faced a very difficult economic environment which was aggravated Cyclone Idai, economic deterioration, and a severe 2018/19 drought which caused food insecurity and depressed electricity generation. The 2020 Budget, therefore, priorities enhancing productivity for growth that creates better jobs and ensuring equity and exclusivity,” he said.
He said the budget was centred on ramping up productivity in the agriculture, mining and services actors to create jobs and reduce imports. The minister availed $1,6 billion to agriculture sector, and $293,2million to mining sector.
He further stated that the 2020 National budget was advancing industrialisation thrust through actualising the value chains and implementing the local content strategy to increase capacity utilisation, strengthen industrial value chains, job creation and export led industrialisation.
“The 2020 budget is, therefore, advancing industrialisations trust through the actualising value chains and implementing the local strategy initially targeting support from tyre production and steel production. The Treasury Bill also provides a guarantee scheme for companies to access capital from financial institutions from retooling purposes,” Ncube said.
The 2020 Budget come on the backdrop of soaring prices, coupled with strikes by medical doctors over poor wages. It remains to be seen if it meets expectations of citizens.
It also comes a few days after the introduction of new currency in the form of $2 coins, $2 and $5 notes.
BY SUCCESS MAJARAMHEPO