Revenue collection to beat target

Tawanda Musarurwa
Updated revenue collection estimates are indicative of a positively performing economy, Secretary for Finance and Economic Development Mr George Guvamatanga has said.

The latest figures from Treasury show that Zimbabwe is expected to bump its initial revenue collection target by $700 million.

“Our projected revenue estimates for 2018 were $5,710 billion. We now have a projected revenue out-turn of around $5,7 billion.

“Projections for 2019 indicate total revenues and grants of $6,4 billion, which is anchored on tax revenue of $5,5 billion, up from the 2018 projected out-turn tax revenue of just over $5 billion,” Mr Guvamatanga told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development last week.

“It is also important to note that the additional $700 million that I have indicated earlier on as the projected final out-turn for 2018 is actually emanating from an increase in tax collection.

“These numbers show that this economy is actually performing. We would not be able to increase tax revenue in a non-performing economy. Yes, we have lots of challenges to deal with, but this is a very clear picture of a performing economy.”

Mr Guvamatanga said the 2019 National Budget would be guided by measures to strengthen revenue collection and minimise Government expenditure to reduce a deficit that stood at around $1,12 billion by mid-year.

According to Treasury’s Pre-Budget Strategy Paper released last week, Government is targeting a significant reduction of the deficit to 5,2 percent of GDP in 2019.

Further reductions to 3,5 percent in 2020 and 3,1 percent of GDP by 2021 will be pursued in compliance with the Sadc threshold of below three percent.

“The huge deficit for the period to June, 2018 is as a result of mainly unbudgeted expenditures and this calls for urgent reforms in order to contain the expenditures, achieve the fiscal consolidation objective and create fiscal space for developmental budget and social services expenditure,” reads part of the strategy paper.

“In that regard, the 2019 Budget will focus on improving revenue collection and containing current expenditures while increasing social service spending and developmental budget.

“Social services spending and developmental budget spending are peculiar in that they reduce poverty, improve the standards of living of all citizens and foster economic development.”

Last month Zimbabwe rebased some of its economic statistics, increasing the nominal size of the economy by more than 40 percent.

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  • Tonderai Dube

    It is expected in an economy that is characterized by high inflation for government revenues to exceed budget. The surplus is driven by runaway prices rather than sound economic performance.