FOREWORD: The 2017 National Budget policy measures and interventions seek to ensure realisation of the overall objectives of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) 2013-2018 programmes and projects under implementation by Government. Pre-Budget Consultations This was also underscored by stakeholders during the broad based pre-Budget consultative processes undertaken by Treasury and Portfolio Committees of Parliament with business, labour, development partners, civil society, various representatives and individuals, across the political divide.
Individual Members of Parliament also inputed into the formulation of the 2017 National Budget, with the Parliament pre-Budget Seminar whose theme was “Enhancing Transformative Economic Development through Domestic Resource Mobilisation and Utilisation” in Bulawayo over 2-6 November 2016 offering further opportunity for inputing into the Budget process. Under the forum of the pre-Budget Seminar, Parliament’s various Portfolio Committees were able to amply highlight the outcomes of their nation-wide public consultations, with complementary inputs also coming from the respective sectoral Ministries.
The outcomes from the above consultations were crystalised and consolidated at a re-prioritisation meeting between the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and Chairpersons of Portfolio Committees held on 22 November 2016 in the Senate Chamber. Furthermore, the formulation of this Budget benefitted from the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (IPRSP) 2016-2018 consultations, held country-wide at Provincial and District levels earlier in the year. The underlying message from all these consultations was that greater and more urgent attention needs to be given to supply side interventions geared towards enhancing production across all sectors of the economy.
In this regard, the theme for this Budget, “Pushing Production Frontiers across all Sectors of the Economy”, is seeking to respond to this call. However, achieving this objective requires a stable macro-economic environment and business confidence, which are currently under threat from existing fiscal imbalances. Hence, it is imperative that this Budget also focusses on further containment of expenditures, particularly employment costs, in order to re-orient the thrust of fiscal expenditures towards development. Furthermore, under such a challenging environment, this Budget seeks to strengthen social safety nets in support of vulnerable groups, in line with the objectives of our Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (IPRSP) for 2016-2018.