2021 National Budget addresses Infrastructure Funding

By Davison Vandira

THE 2021 national budget continues to receive positive reviews, with economists impressed by the fiscal policy’s growth orientation.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, announced a 421.6 billion United States dollar budget for 2021 in which he made substantial allocations towards capital expenditure in line with the key pillars under the National Development Strategy (NDS1).

On the backdrop of the successes of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, TSP, the macro-economic and climatic shocks in the last two years and the recent COVID-19, the 2021 budget is hinged on continued social support to vulnerable members of society, and inclusive economic growth.

The treasury expects the economy to grow by 7.4 percent and to achieve this, the minister allocated substantial amounts to key sectors that drive growth in the economy.

The Minister said that capital expenditures would constitute 131.6 billion Zimbabwe dollars from the total national budget which is 5.5 percent of the national GDP.

The key budget allocations went towards the agricultural sector which received 46.7 billion Zimbabwe dollars.

This is a key sector that the government has identified, in which it is targeting to increase its output to 8.2 billion United States dollars by 2025.

An economist, Mr Titus Mukove, has given full support to the 2021 budget policy thrust, describing it as practical and goal-oriented.

“The budget thrust in as far as capital projects are concerned is well-conceived when one looks at Zimbabwe broad economic vision,” he said.

The transport sector received an allocation of 30.1 billion Zimbabwe dollars and 200 million Zimbabwe dollars towards aviation for the upgrading of airports.

The energy sector was allocated 900 million Zimbabwe dollars for Hwange Expansion Project and an additional 32,2 billion Zimbabwe dollars, which will be disbursed through a loan facility of 998 United States dollars from China-Exim bank.

Dam projects received 10.7 billion Zimbabwe dollars and 3.9 billion Zimbabwe dollars going towards urban water supply.

Devolution, which was also covered by the 2020 budget, received 19.5 billion Zimbabwe dollars, which is expected to drive development at the grassroots.

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