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July 2011 | Angeline Albert
have been announced to restrict the Zimbabwean government’s spending on foreign
travel as part of a major cost-cutting drive.
minister Tendai Biti announced his cost control strategy to parliament this
week when he presented the country’s 2011mid-year fiscal policy review.
said that in the first half of 2011, the government’s total expenditure was US$1.14
billion (£697 million), including US$29.7 million (£18.17 million) on foreign
travel. However, cost “overruns” on foreign travel contributed to the
government exceeding its US$991 million (£606 million) spending target for the
travel expenditure remains disproportionately high in comparison to other
budget items, including priority capital projects,” he said.
minister also plans to drive efficiencies in the purchase of vehicles and the
cost of training public sector staff outside the country.
we are on course to meet our revenue targets, it is fair to say that a number
of structural challenges remain arresting our economy,” he said. “At the
epicentre of these challenges is the critical failure to appreciate that we can
only spend that which we have. Containing and managing wastage and leakages in
government expenditure together with reprioritising and enhancing efficiencies
of public expenditures are, therefore, critical.”
and local government’s debt to suppliers at the end of June 2011 amounted to
US$87.7 million (£53.6 million) and Biti said resources will be required to pay
it. “Failure to clear these arrears will constrain service providers’
operations, whose services are critical for sustenance of the current economic
despite cost cutting in some areas, the government plans to increase spending
on infrastructure. The procurement of road rehabilitation equipment, which is
estimated to cost US$53 million (£32 million), will be protected.
report highlighted that inflation in Zimbabwe had been the lowest when compared
to neighbouring southern Africa states since February – although the country
did abandon its native currency in 2009 due to hyperinflation.