FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube has blown his July $929 billion budget, NewsDay can reveal.
On Wednesday, while presenting the Finance Bill, Ncube requested permission from the Senate to spend $851 billion more on his recently approved July supplementary budget citing rising inflation.
Barely two months after proposing the $929 billion supplementary budget, Ncube has already run out of the money.
Ncube’s supplementary budget, approved last week in Parliament, pushed expenditure projections for 2022 to $1,9 trillion largely due to employment costs as the civil servants demand a living wage.
The new proposal puts Ncube’s 2022 budget demands at $2,8 trillion.
Zimbabwe is suffering an economic meltdown, characterised by rising inflation, a weakening local currency as well as foreign currency shortages due to, among other factors, a crisis of confidence emanating from a long history of policy inconsistency and currency instability.
“Due to the inflationary pressures that are upon this economy, mainly driven by external and some internal factors linked to the exchange rate, we are now collecting more revenue than anticipated, but also our expenses as government have gone up again commensurately with the same inflation,” he said.
“They have gone up to a point where there is a need for us to come before this House and seek permission to spend the extra revenue to meet the extra expenses. I am, therefore, coming before this House to request that this House allows us to spend an extra $851 billion.
“These resources are mainly targeted at the social aspects of our public expenditure protecting the vulnerable but also to support our hard-working civil servants. Fifty-three percent of the budget, in fact, will be targeted towards public sector wages, including pensions, including those who are in this august House.”
Ncube said some of the resources would be spent on agriculture under the inputs programme which supports the vulnerable, some of the money would be spent on completing important infrastructural projects.
“All this is necessary for the government to achieve its goals, all which are enshrined in our National Development Strategy 1 overall, but were in the budget in the first place. We need to achieve those targets. We are now making extra resources available to meet the extra expenses on the back of the extra revenue,” Ncube added.
In her 2020 annual report, Auditor-General Mildred Chiri exposed how Ncube unconstitutionally transferred over $100 billion to line ministries without parliamentary approval, taking advantage of poor accounting systems at Treasury.