GOVERNMENT has insisted that the country’s economy has grown, despite company closures and serious cashflow challenges.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the National Assembly on Wednesday that the country’s economy had now grown by another 1,6% beyond what Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa had initially projected in the 2017 National Budget statement.
Mnangagwa was responding to a question by leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Thokozani Khupe, who said Mnangagwa should explain government plans to grow the economy as revenue performance for the first quarter went down by 18,2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, which also constituted the worst performance since 2013.
“May I say that it can happen that in some quarter we may fail to meet the projected revenue inflows, and generally, the first quarter of each year, the inflows are lower, but they increase during the second, third and fourth quarters of the financial year,” Mnangagwa said.
“World Bank and International Monetary Fund country teams have indicated that the economy has now grown by another 1,6% or so beyond our initial projection, and we should be happy now that the projections have gone beyond what we were producing before and not concentrate on the constraints that happened in the past because we shall never return to the past, but continue to deal with the future.”
During the 2017 National Budget presentation, Chinamasa had projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0,7%.
Mnangagwa said what determined economic growth in a country were the statistics that were gathered in relation to various sectors of the economy as they grew.
“In this particular case, the major growth was registered in agriculture and mining. These two sectors of the economy have been able to drive the growth of the economy,” he said.
In April, Chinamasa also told the House that he was looking at GDP growth of 3,7% in 2017, largely contributed by agriculture where different crops were said to have performed well. He said mining had also done well.
“Already, I keep telling people that I sleep well because I see the stirring of an economic recovery. I see the entrepreneurship that, in fact, is very evident among our people. It is coming right across the economy and across all sectors,” Chinamasa said.