Mboweni asks parliament to delay mid-term budget over economic recovery plan

By Paul Richardson

(Bloomberg) — The South African Treasury asked parliament to reschedule the mid-term budget as Finance Minister Tito Mboweni assesses the implications of the government’s economic recovery plan.

The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement will now be presented on Oct. 28, a week later than planned, subject to approval by the Parliamentary Programming Committee, according to a statement emailed Tuesday by parliament.

Mboweni cited the recent “complex decisions” taken by cabinet on spending plans for next year, along with the “implications of the time-frames for the finalization of government’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery plan on the budget process,” it said.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to unveil the recovery plan on Thursday. It will include proposals to counter the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which is expected to result in South Africa’s biggest economic contraction in almost nine decades.

“The Government is determined to maintain a prudent fiscal stance which is in the best interest of the country in the medium and long-term,” National Treasury said in a statement on Wednesday. “The 2020 MTBPS will reflect this position.”