Govt $1,6 trillion in the red in February

Eric Chiriga



GOVERNMENT was $1,6 trillion in the red in February after its revenue sources failed to meet targets, latest statistics from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (

RBZ) have revealed.


While government’s cumulative revenue for the month of January totalled $5,8 trillion, its total expenditure and net lending including Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) grants was $7,3 trillion.


“The revenue and expenditure developments resulted in a budget deficit of $1,58 trillion for the month under review,” said the central bank in the monthly review for February.


“Major revenue heads performed below target,” added the RBZ.


The February deficit is understood to represent a growing deficit problem faced by government due to dwindling revenue streams due to a contracting economy.


Income and profit tax contributed $2,97 trillion, Value Added Tax (Vat) $1,76 trillion, customs duty $1,45 trillion and excise duty $0,3 billion.


On the other hand, government’s expenditure included salaries and wages of $4,1 trillion, transfer payments of $1,45 trillion and interest payments of $0,5 billion.


These developments come against the backdrop of a growing domestic debt now close to $42 trillion.


Foreign debt is close to US$$4 billion.


According to an RBZ monthly review for January, government closed the year 2005 with a total external debt outstanding of US$3,9 billion, equivalent to $402 trillion using the interbank rate of US$1:$101 195.


The country managed to scrape a paltry US$1,7 billion from exports.


Government recorded a revenue of only $33,4 trillion during the period.


Out of the revenue, income and profit tax contributed $16,33 trillion, Vat ($10,55 trillion), customs duties tax ($3,86 trillion) and excise duty income was $1,06 trillion.


The RBZ said at the close of 2005 bilateral and multilateral creditors were US$1,44 billion and US$1,46 billion respectively.

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