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2014 budget is a 'professional fart' says Biti

by Staff Reporter
20 Dec 2013 at 15:19hrs | Views
Former finance minister Tendai Biti has described the just announced 2014 budget as a "professional fart" reflecting cluelessness and lack of grasp of the challenges facing the economy

Biti's successor Patrick Chinamasa yesterday unveiled an economic plan for the year 2014 in Parliament against the backdrop of a liquidity crunch in most financial institutions.

Biti told Radio Dialogue that to begin with the projection that the economy will grow by 6, 23 percent is a "delusional one, more so if there are underlying downward factors such as the absence of electricity, how do you expect the economy to grow."

"The agricultural land preparation has been a disaster and the prices of international commodities is going to be down as well as the mining is now 35 percent of our economy and so if the prices of minerals are down what makes him think the economy will grow," said Biti.

He said the budget is so out of touch with reality and he was tempted to believe it was written for another country not Zimbabwe.

"Where is he going to get the $4, 2 billion for this budget, at the moment as of the end of October 2013 there is a deficit of $130 million the difference between the target and what has been collected and this year's budget was only $3, 8 billion so now it has been put to $4, 2 billion when we cant meet $3, 8 billion dollars so the budget becomes fictional because the revenue base is non-existent," said Biti.

He said it was worrying that at a time when the country was anticipating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) the minister emphasised that Indiginisation laws will not change.

Biti said investors are instead going to laugh at Zimbabwe and will not come and invest in the country.

"Another thing which is crazy is the celebration of the widely called new economy, the informal economy. In a post industrialisation age to celebrate deindustrialisation of a country is crazy, look at Bulawayo and the dead companies there.

"That $100 million provided to the informal sector should have been channeled to formal industries and stem the tide of deindustrialisation.

To provide informal sector money when the formal sector is dead is bad," said Biti. 

Source - Radio Dialogue