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       Prova Anual de Vida dos Pensionistas do INSS Residentes no Estrangeiro

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    21 September, 2010
Government aims for 7.2 per cent growth in 2011
Maputo, 21 Sept (AIM) - The Mozambican Council of Ministers (Cabinet) on Tuesday approved the draft Economic and Social Plan (PES) and state budget for 2011, which will now be submitted to the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic for approval.

The government spokesperson, Deputy Justice Minister Alberto Nkutumula, told reporters that the plan sets a target of 7.2 per cent for economic growth in 2011. Commodity exports are expected to reach slightly more than $2.4 billion, which will be an increase of 15 per cent on the 2009 figure.

The target for the country's net international reserves is that they should cover 4.3 months of imports.

The government hopes to keep inflation in 2011 at around eight per cent. Nkutumula could not give a current estimate for this year's inflation rate, but the Bank of Mozambique is expected to provide the latest inflation figures on Wednesday.

Nkutumula added that the plan also sets as a goal "continuing to create job opportunities and an environment favourable to private investment and the development of the national business class, while safeguarding correct management of the environment".

The draft 2011 budget envisages total revenue for the year of 73.27 billion meticais (slightly more than $2 billion at current exchange rates) and public expenditure of 128.8 billion meticais. This leaves a deficit before grants of 54.4 billion meticais.

The 2010 budget, as passed by parliament, envisaged revenue of 57.43 billion meticais and expenditure of 117.98 billion meticais, leaving a deficit of 60.5 billion meticais. Thus the planned deficit before grants for 2011 is considerably smaller than the 2010 figure. Whereas in 2010, grants and loans were expected to cover over 51 per cent of expenditure, the projected figure for 2011 falls to 42 per cent.

The budget, Nkutumula said, was intended to maintain macro-economic stability, and to continue poverty reduction activities. The mechanisms for implementing public expenditure "should not have a negative impact on the general level of prices or on the real effective exchange rate".

He added that the budget would "strengthen the subsidies and social support, as a measure to mitigate the recent shocks".

Nkutumula confirmed that this means the bread subsidy, introduced by the government in response to the unrest in Maputo against price rises on 1-2 September, will continue into 2011. He could not confirm whether the current fuel subsidy will also continue into next year.

Nkutumula was unable to put any figure on the cost of the bread subsidy. The government is committed to paying a subsidy of 200 meticais (about $5.5) for each 50 kilo sack of wheat flour that registered bakers purchase from the milling companies.
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