Zim’s fiscal performance remains poor

ZIMBABWE’S fiscal performance for the eight months to August 31 2012 has remained poor despite the budget remaining balanced, latest reports from the Comptroller and Auditor-General reveal.

Report by Clive Mphambela

In the latest available consolidated financial performance report from the accountant-general, which is counter-signed by both the secretary for finance and the Auditor-General, government’s total recurrent expenditure topped US$1,958 billion against total income of US$2,161 billion, representing over 90% of the 2012 budget for the year to August.

Of this, US$1,082 billion was spent on employment costs, which the Ministry of Finance had projected at US$1,062 billion for the period.

To accommodate the higher salary bill, government purchases of goods and services accounted for US$229,1 million, against planned expenditure of US$315 million — a saving of US$86,3 million — while current transfers at US$631,3 million overran the budget of US$615 million by US$16,3 million.

A negative variance of US$6,5 million was also recorded after interest on debt chomped US$416 568 million against a planned expenditure of US$10,050 million for the eight months.