Diamond surge turns 2021 budget deficit into surplus

Improving numbers: The Finance Ministry had initially projected a P10 billion deficit for 2021/22. The ministry now expects a small surplus PIC: FINANCE MINISTRY
Improving numbers: The Finance Ministry had initially projected a P10 billion deficit for 2021/22. The ministry now expects a small surplus PIC: FINANCE MINISTRY

Ministry of Finance expects the final 2021–2022 budget to reflect a small surplus, as opposed to initial forecasts of a P10.2 billion deficit, due to larger than expected receipts from diamond exports, BusinessWeek has established.

The 2021–2022 final budget outcome is due in August and should it be achieved, the surplus would be the first in the country’s books since the 2016–2017 financial year. In her February budget speech, (Finance) Minister Peggy Serame had projected the deficit for 2021–2022 at P10.2 billion or 5.09 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), following on from another whopping P16.4 billion shortfall in 2020–2021, equivalent to 9.4 percent of that year’s GDP.

The finance ministry's permanent secretary, Wilfred Mandlebe, this week told a parliamentary committee that at the last count, the deficit for 2021–2022 was P185 million, putting the budget on track for a small surplus when the numbers are finalised in the next two months.

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