President Mnangagwa last week assented to two laws, Finance (Number Two) Act and Appropriation (Supplementary) (2019) Act to give effect to proposals by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in th ae 2019 Mid-term Budget Review Statement early this month.
The signing of the proposed legislation into law follows their passing recently by the National Assembly with the House of Assembly cutting short a brief recess just before Heroes’ and Defence Forces holidays to process the Acts, then at Bill stage.
While the Appropriation (Supplementary) Act gives effect to the Treasury chief’s $10 billion plus 2019 supplementary budget proposals, the Finance (Number Two) Act gives effect to all proposed mid-term budget review proposals, including new tax initiatives.
Further, Finance (Number Two) Act also gives legal effect to monetary measures introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in February this year when it ordered conversion of all US dollar Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) balances to local currency.
The monetary measures, introduced in terms of the Presidential Power (Temporary Measures) Act and Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019, were due to expire on the 21st of this month, a development that could have created a legal void.
“The following Acts (Finance Number Two Act and Appropriation-Supplementary-2019-Act), which have been assented to by His Excellence the President, are published in terms of section 131(6) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” reads the Government Gazette.
Presenting the second reading of the Finance and Supplementary Bills, Minister Ncube said the instruments sought to give effect to the fiscal measures that he announced in the mid-term fiscal policy review statement delivered on August 1, 2019.
In particular, the proposals availed relief to hard pressed taxpayers through adjustment of the tax free band as well as proposals to enhance the Government’s tax revenue generation capacity, taking into account recent economic developments.
Minister Ncube also said that the finance and supplementary budget Acts sought to project the supplementary budget and the statement accompanying it in a way that shows that Government was sensitive to the economic plight of its burdened citizens.
“First of all, it recognises that we do face inflationary pressures and it also recognises the fact that we need to increase social spending. It recognises that we need to increase allocation to agriculture because it all overlaps with the whole notion of social protection.
“The statement and the Bill also seek to recognise that we need to support the productive sectors of our economy such as the mining sector, for example, where we have made sure that the royalties are tax deductible,” the Finance Minister said.