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'More than half of $18 bln stimulus package disbursed to date'

by Staff reporter
23 Nov 2020 at 17:34hrs | Views
Treasury says it has disbursed more than half of the $18 billion Economic Recovery and Stimulus Package, which was meant to mitigate the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses, individuals, and families.
 
The main aim was to provide liquidity support to all the productive sectors of the economy and protect employment through prevention and minimisation of Covid-19 effects.
 
According to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, more than $9.7 billion has so far been disbursed under the stimulus package. This comes as a recent paper from the Confederation of Zimbabwe questioned the stimulus package saying that much of the industry had not received any of the funds.
 
The package was announced on May 1, 2020 by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
 
Ncube said the Government through the Reserve Bank availed $3 billion (initially $2.5 billion) through the Medium-Term Bank Accommodation Facility. To date, $2.4 billion has been fully disbursed.
 
He said that of the $6.1 billion allocated to the agriculture sector, only $1.5 billion had been disbursed towards the 2020 Winter Wheat Programme.  A separate $4 billion was disbursed towards vulnerable farming households across the country under the Presidential Input Support Scheme.
 
Government allocated ZWL$2.4 billion for Covid-19 cash transfers to cushion the vulnerable members of society through transfers but Ncube could not give further details. He only said that the stimulus package has gone a long way in addressing its intended purpose of protecting livelihoods and stimulating the economy.

"You may also want to know that the stimulus is not yet exhausted, therefore, its impact may only be fairly assessed after exhaustion."
 
Government also set aside $21.5 million for youth, sports, and arts while SMEs support was at $77 million.
 
Meanwhile, Ncube said the upcoming 2021 budget, which will run under the theme ‘Building Resilience and Sustainable Economic Recovery' is projected to focus on strengthening the economy to withstand any potential climatic and microeconomic shocks.
 
"The budget will pay particular attention to reducing poverty through promoting equitable shared growth and resuscitating distressed sectors of the economy, strengthening social service delivery systems and establishing resilient and inclusive safety nets to protect the vulnerable members of the society.
 
The budget follows the NDS1 and will also centre on seven pillars, the first pillar is inclusive growth and macro-stability which will aid in fiscal and monetary policy stability and promote growth. The second pillar is developing and supporting productive value chains. Optimising the value of Zimbabwe's natural resources is the third pillar. The others are infrastructure, ICT and the digital economy, human capital development and wellbeing effective institution building and governance and engagement and re-engagement.

Source - finx

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