Zimbabwe 2010 National Budget To Be Presented Today
Finance Minister Tendai Biti today presents the 2010 National Budget in parliament amidst high expectations, low productivity and an absence of meaningful investment by locals as well as foreigners into Zimbabwe. He claims his budget is going to be a developmental one, saying the previous one was a "stabilisation budget".
Harare, Zimbabwe, 02 December 2009
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, today presents his 2010 National Budget, which he claims is going to be a developmental budget.
This is the budget in which he will announce what will happen to the US$510 million from the International Monetary Fund. US$50 million of it has already been released for the 2009/2010 agricultural season.
With no income to talk about coming in, Zimbabwe will be looking to the money from the IMF to kickstart its moribund economy, which is still reeling under a 90% unemployment rate, industrial production of less than 30% and a severe liquidity problem with very few US dollars in circulation. (The country is supposed to be under a multi-currency system, with the South African Rand as the anchor currency, but the Rand has all but disappeared from Zimbabwe as illegal foreign currency dealers offer rates way above bank and international rates, ensuring that the currency never makes it into the banking system).
Tendai Biti has also promised a "rationalisation" of the Zimbabwe tax regime, though it is almost certain that, after he is done with this, the tax burden carried by Zimbabweans will still be high, considering the voracious appetite of this wasteful government.
As I have said before, the money being pumped into the economy from the IMF is almost certainly going to waste. Most of it will be going to Zimbabwe's government-owned companies and these have proved that they do not know how to invest in their own operations, instead concentrating on dishing out lavish perks to their staff members and then refusing to account to parliament for their revenue and expenditure.
Most people will be looking to see if the disastrous policy of outlawing the importation of second-hand cars is announced today by the Finance Minister. As I have said before, this senseless policy, announced by Mugabe in his opening address to parliament in September, is only designed to protect cabinet ministers and politicians who run garages for new and used cars in Zimbabwe. There is no sane reason why the policy is being introduced, considering Zimbabwe has no car industry to protect.
Ordinary Zimbabweans will also be looking out for an announcement on the bonuses for 2010. The previous ZANU PF-only government had got into the habit of announcing a tax-free threshold for the November bonuses and most workers then get a rebate on the taxes that would have been deducted at the end of November pay cycle.
I will bring you news of the budget as soon as it is announced in parliament later on today.