FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa will present the long-awaited 2014 national budget to the House of Assembly and the senate next Thursday amid concerns the country’s economy is slowing down.
Willard Manungo, Finance and economic development secretary announced the date of the presentation of the national budget in a Press statement yesterday.
Chinamasa’s 2014 budget announcement comes in the backcloth of an increase in the closure and liquidation of scores of companies and ballooning of unemployment in the past 12 months.
Analysts say the government should come up with an expansionist budget to revitalise the economy which critics say has been stagnant since the end of the coalition government mid this year.
Expectations are high the budget would take into consideration Zanu PF election promises, particularly job creation, revival of industries and a full roll-out of economic empowerment policies targeting the poor.
The government is struggling with reduced revenue in taxes as they are few firms that are operating profitably.
There is also controversy over the government’s black economic empowerment law which requires foreigner to surrender 51% of their stake to indigenous Zimbabweans and the punitive tax regime.
There have been suggestions from other quarters for the government to impose prohibitive importation taxes to protect the local manufacturing industries, particularly the clothing and textile sectors which have collapsed due to cheap imports from the Far East.
Bulawayo executives are pinning hopes on the 2014 budget as they expect Chinamasa to prioritise the revival of industries in the previous industrial hub.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions wants a pro-poor budget which recognises the bulk of workers in the country earn below the poverty datum line estimated at over $600.