The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has tabled a 2020 budget anchored on productivity and growth.
Presenting the national budget in Parliament, Professor Ncube said the 2020 budget marked the exit of austerity.
“Mr Speaker Sir, the 2020 national budget mark’s the exit from austerity to growth stimulation and employment generation era through the promotion of production-oriented investment and productivity, without losing focus on fiscal responsibility,” he said.
The growth and productivity thrust will be supported by the re-engagement process with the international community which will enable the government to meet budget objectives.
“The 2020 budget prioritizes the following areas: productivity and growth, job creation, competitiveness, promotion of more sustainable and inclusive development, and export diversification and import substitution,” he added.
With the productivity mantra taking center stage, the budget is centered on ramping up productivity in the agriculture, manufacturing, mining and services sectors to create jobs and reduce imports.
“Embracing climate-smart agriculture will improve prospects for the agriculture sector, which is projected to grow by at least five percent in 2020. This growth is attributed to a better rainfall during the 2019/2020 season, supported by timely disbursement of inputs,” said Professor Ncube.
The minister said the implementation of the national industrial policy and the local content strategy will increase capacity utilization, strengthen industrial value chains, job creation and export-led industrialization.
“Advancing industrialization thrust through actualizing value chains and implementing the local content strategy, initially targeting support to the following sub-sectors: pharmaceuticals, tyre production, hides and leather production, and steel production,” he said.
$1 billion dollars was allocated to the rehabilitation of Beitbridge-Chirundu road while five percent of excise duty on fuel will go towards the Beitbridge road rehabilitation.
For Infrastructure development $2.6 billion was allocated for 2020 and an infrastructure investment plan is to be unveiled.
Power supply rehabilitation is to get $1.8 billion and $142 million was allocated for rural electrification to improve the livelihoods of the rural population.
The minister highlighted that the $12 billion mining sector by 2020 is achievable adding that the sector was anticipated to grow by 4.7 percent.
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