A national Budget roadmap that seeks to ensure an all-inclusive process which is efficient, timely and contains clearly stated time frames, has been unveiled.
The development is expected to give impetus to the national economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), whose ultimate objective is to ensure the attainment of Vision 2030 of an empowered upper middle income economy.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, presented the roadmap for the annual Budget through a Statutory Instrument published last Thursday in terms of the Public Finance and Management Act.
The regulation provides that the Minister of Finance shall determine the annual Budget process which will include preparation of the Budget Strategy Paper by Treasury between July and September to give a glimpse of the thrust and objectives for that fiscal year.
Ministries and Government departments should equally provide inputs to Ministry of Finance for the formulation of the Budget Strategy Paper, including providing revised strategic priorities and expenditure intentions June 1.
The Minister of Finance is also obliged to table a Mid-year Fiscal Review to Cabinet no later than July 31, so should they table the Budget Strategy Paper to Cabinet no later than July 31 and provides the Budget Strategy Paper to Parliament for information and comment no later than August 31.
In terms of the new regulation, Cabinet should approve the Budget Strategy Paper no later than August 15.
“Ministry of Finance and Economic Development issues the Budget Call Circular including indicative budget expenditure ceilings for the following year by 20th September,” reads the Statutory Instrument.
Government ministries are required to make budget submissions with their estimates to Ministry of Finance by October 5, for consideration.
Treasury should provide updates about the macroeconomic and fiscal information and provides it to Cabinet by September 14.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is obliged to complete review of Budget submissions by October 15, and Treasury and ministries should hold Budget discussions between October 15 and November 16.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development provides draft Budget estimates to Cabinet by November 20, whose consideration should be completed by November 23.
The Minister of Finance should present the annual Budget statement to Parliament on the last Thursday of November, which should then be debated and approved.