Highlights of the 2017 budget presented by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa to Parliament today.
- Growth is projected to increase from 0.6 percent in 2016 to 1.7 percent.
- Inflation projected to go up from a negative -1.5 percent to 1.1 percent.
- Total expenditure projected at $4.1 billion, total revenue collection at $3.7 billion. Budget deficit seen at $400 million
- Government wage bill to gobble $3 billion in 2017 vs $3.14 billion in 2016.
- Capital expenditure to take up $520 million, or 3.6 percent of GDP.
- Trade deficit to narrow from $1.985 billion in 2016 to $1.537 billion in 2017.
- National debt stood at $11.2 billion as of October 31, 2016 or 79 percent of GDP.
- Agriculture and mining to grow by 12 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
- Government to increase tax on textile imports and extend rebates on selected raw materials to promote competitiveness of domestic industry.
- Government to introduce a health fund levy of $0.05 for every $1 of airtime and mobile data.
- Government to introduce tax incentives for companies operating in Special Economic Zones. (5-year exemption from corporate TAX + duty free on imports of raw materials and capital goods)
- Duty on raw materials for sanitary wear to be scrapped.
- Mobile banking services to be exempted from value added tax (VAT).
- Government to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through downward revision of presumptive taxes, facilitation of tax registration and ring-fencing resources to capitalise the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (SEDCO).
Non-Wage expenditure budget:
- Health: $59.1 million
- Education: $43.3 million
- Social Service: $28.8 million
- Agriculture: $320.8 million
- Energy: $5 million
- Water and Sanitation: $42.2 million
- Transport: $37.3 million
- ICT: $12.8 million
- Housing: $39.4 million