Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has announced that 2022 expenditure is projected to increase to 927.3 billion Zimbabwean dollars ($8.78 billion) from a revised Z$509 billion estimated in 2021.
In his 2022 budget presentation on Thursday, Prof Ncube projected an economic growth of 5.5% next year and said the aim was for a deficit of 1.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 and 1.7% of GDP in 2023.
According to his presentation, average annual inflation is expected to fall from 94.6% in 2021 to 32.6% next year and 17.5% in 2023.
This development could improve livelihoods which have suffered economic challenges and worsened by Covid-19 which hit the country for two consecutive years.
From January to September 2021, Zimbabwe received development assistance amounting to US$647.6 million, of which US$401.7 million was from bilateral partners and US$245.9 million from multilateral partners.
The economy is, however, being negatively affected by Covid-19, erratic supply of key enablers such as electricity and water, deficiencies in delivery of social and other public services.
“This 2022 national budget seeks to buttress the growth trajectory established in 2021, and enable the economy to build resilience against shocks, including the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Prof Ncube.
Of note is the fact that Prof Ncube allocated $$3,5 billion towards the pending by-elections which are set for next year.
He allocated ZWLS4.7 billion towards the Ministry of Women Affairs for interventions that will empower their programmes.
Infrastructure development got a $156.4 billion while the transportation sector was allocated $60.8 billion.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was allocated an amount worth $124 billion while the health sector witnessed a 14,9% increase as Prof Mthuli allocated $117.7 billion to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
However, Prof Ncube’s presentation allocated a significant amount to projects in Matabeleland region which analysts speculate could bring economic change and recovery in marginalised communities.
Major projects receiving the attention of the Treasury in Matabeleland include Gwayi-Shangani Dam which according to projection may bring an end to Bulawayo’s water woes.
Other projects include the US$1,5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station Units 7 and 8 expansion, which is almost 70 percent complete and the US$300 million Beitbridge Border Post modernisation.
The Binga Airstrip rehabilitation and repair of damaged road infrastructure linking Bulawayo and surrounding regional districts including major city roads, among other projects were also allocated funds.
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