By Qondile Ntiwane | 2019-06-09
Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini has attributed the country's 1.8 per cent inflation rate to some of the control measures put in place by government.
The PM noted during the breakfast meeting with the Editors Forum at the Royal Villas yesterday that this was the first time the inflation rate dropped to this per cent, something he described as an achievement for the country.
"I don't remember the inflation rate dropping to this low and it is good, especially considering that our neighbours South Africa are currently sitting at 4.4 per cent.
"When the new Cabinet came into place, there were measurers taken including putting a stop to increase on utilities including water and electricity, especially because we have civil servants whose salary has been stagnant over the years,” he said.
Explaining the country's current fiscal situation, the PM highlighted that there were a number of challenges faced by government since passing the budget in parliament.
"It must be understood that the budget passed in parliament was a balanced budget and that some of the proposed things are still not in place, hence the challenges we are facing. These include amongst other things the issue of reserves, where we are currently sitting at 2.4 cover but our main target now is three months cover," he said.
The PM was seconding minister of finance Neal Rijkenberg who noted that government was doing all in its power to settle arrears, something he said was slowing progress in efforts to normalise the fiscal situation.
" There are very big holes in the bucket where expenditure is concerned. But we are working around the clock to correct these and can assure that, because of the action taking place in the background, we will be giving practical reports soon," he said.
He explained that government was determined to bring this issue to finality and we are aware that the pressure is emanating from previous years’ commitments.
“Government is working on proposals to financiers to secure funding of arrears of around E3billion as at 31st March 2019. It is important to note that payment of suppliers is an ongoing process, payments have never stopped, we pay as and when revenue is received.
“The figure is volatile though due to the seasonality of both revenue and commitments,” he said.
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