GOVERNMENT failed to meet its January revenue target of US$294 million by approximately US$53 million, Finance Minister Tendai Biti told the House of Assembly on Wednesday. Minister Biti attributed the decline to depressed economic activity in January.
He said in January, targeted revenue was US$294 million, but only US$239,3 million was collected.
Minister Biti added that after the payment of civil servants' salaries in January only US$7 million was carried over to February.
He said economic developments since the beginning of the year had been depressed.
"Developments in January and February have been very depressing on the economic front and this follows developments we had towards the end of last year," he said.
The minister said Government had a US$70 million deficit on its cash budget after collecting US$3,495 billion against a target of US$3,64 billion. Government, he said, was considering disposing some of its assets among other fiscal measures to be announced in due course as it seeks to improve its coffers.
"The other measures we are looking at include the disposal of the family souvenir and additional fiscal measures that I cannot announce now," he said. "These are matters, however, that Government and principals are seized with."
The minister also said some business people, especially of Asian origin, were also avoiding the use of ICTs as a way of avoiding paying taxes.
"There is serious non-compliance among businesses, especially those run by our Chinese friends. There are serious issues of evasion and avoidance," he said. He said some businesses were issuing receipts in long hand instead of using fiscalised cash registers as required by law.
Minister Biti said Government had signed a MoU with the Bankers' Association of Zimbabwe for them to issue debit cards to customers for to promote the use of plastic money as well as curb leakages.