FINANCE minister Herbert Murerwa yesterday failed to present next year’s actual budget – the ‘blue book’ containing detailed government financial estimat
es – and only delivered a speech in parliament which was seriously deficient on content.
MPs who wanted to look into the budget, government’s financial plan which outlines projected revenues and expenditures, to get comprehensive statistics left parliament disappointed by the unavailability the crucial document.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said Murerwa’s failure to produce the blue book was unconstitutional and meant that the “budget has not been presented”.
It said even though the minister read out his budget statement, the “budget” was still missing.
“It is of concern that the blue book, which contains the actual revenue and expenditure estimates, was not made available by the minister,” the MDC said. “This is unconstitutional, and technically means that the budget has not been presented. Zanu PF thus does not even have the capacity to present the budget, let alone implement it.”
Economic analyst Professor Tony Hawkins said the missing blue book was an inconvenience.
“It’s difficult to analyse the budget when the real figures are not there. One can’t really comment on a lot of issues.”
The blue book gives detailed budget votes for the Office of the President and Cabinet, parliament, vote of credit, ministries and ancillary expenditures. It also has a budget distribution by vote pie chart, which makes it easier to analyse the budget.
Although Murerwa did not say why the budget was missing, it is understood that it was still stuck with at government printers by yesterday.