The government will be maintaining a salary freeze to create room for mobilising funding for key projects in light of the budgetary constraints affecting the economy.

This was revealed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Chinamasa in his annual budget review and the 2017 economic outlook.

The government is concerned over the huge salary bill which has constrained Treasury’s capacity to sustain social services such as health and education including infrastructure projects.

While Chinamasa on Thursday (yesterday)told legislators, economic decision makers and stakeholders the first half of the year has seen remarkable progress in terms of revenue collections, economic stability, export growth, industrial capacity, the major worry has been the government’s limited capacity to sustain requirements of capital projects.

Therefore, as part efforts to ensure that economic gains are consolidated in the next six months, Treasury has resolved to freeze the wage bill of the public sector employees to maintain stability thereby focusing on stimulating critical or productive sectors, says Cde Chinamasa.

“We need to go back to the basics and try to get the real solution on the funding challenges,” said Cde Chinamasa.

The Finance Minister also said the second half of this year will also result in the government working with the private sector in finding solutions to economic challenges while also focusing on the need to improve service delivery.

 “What more can we do apart from consolidating the current gains and improve macroeconomic fundamentals,” he added.

Some of the highlights of the budget review include, a projected 3.7 percent economic growth rate, a 5.1 percent growth in mining sector, 21.6 percent rise in agriculture industry contributions to the economy, a US$3.7 billion gross revenue collection target, US$4.8 million in monthly earnings from a health levy among others, 24 tonnes in yearly gold output target among others, rise in diamond output to 1.1 million carats in first half among others. zbc