“The Ministry of Finance is focused on preparing a budget which will be anchored on economic recovery and stabilisation. We are, therefore, working very hard to develop an expenditure framework for the next three years going forward,” Finance Minister Felix Mutati has said.
“The nation will be appraised when the budget will be presented but we are determined to deliver a budget that will be drawn from a widely consultative process,” assured the Minister.
According to Part XVI, Public Finance and Budget, Article 202 clause (3) of the Constitution, “In a year where a general election is held, the Minister responsible for finance shall cause to be prepared and laid before the National Assembly, within ninety days of the swearing in of the President, estimates of revenue and expenditure for the Republic for the next financial year.”
In this regard, there is a maximum of ninety  days following the swearing of the President on Tuesday 13th September, 2016, in which to present the budget to the National Assembly. This is sufficient time for Cabinet to give guidance on policy and program priorities for the 2017 budget and for the medium term. The 2017 National Budget will, therefore, NOT BE PRESENTED THIS FRIDAY, but on a date to be announced after exhausting consultations with stakeholders, Ministries, Provinces, and Spending Agencies in formulating economic recovery and stabilisation policies which will be announced in the 2017 budget address.
To facilitate revenue related consultations, the Ministry, several months ago, issued an invitation for stakeholders, interest groups and ordinary members of the public to submit proposals for Tax and Non-Tax Revenue Policy review. The response has been good and the submissions are being studied in order for us to arrive at optimal measures which will be proposed to Cabinet for consideration.
“I am back from the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings where we had productive consultations,’ said Mr. Mutati.
“In our open invitation, individual stakeholders especially organisations representing interest groups were encouraged to ensure that internal consultations were conducted so that submissions which they finally presented to the Ministry had the full support and ownership of the majority of their membership. Many stakeholders have complied with this requirement. We are glad with the outcome of the initiative as it is consistent with the long-held policy of ensuring that planning and implementation of financial and economic policies and programs is widely consultative.
“In respect of the public sector, a budget call circular will soon be issued and budget hearings conducted in the process of finalising the estimates of expenditure.