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Zimbabwean FM Biti Says Diamond Cash Not Covering Civil Service Pay Increase


Biti said the government is now running a deficit of US$80 million dollars a month taking into account the increased cost of salaries since they were boosted in July, among other items

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Friday that his ministry received US$23 million in revenues this month from the sale of diamonds from the eastern Marange field to help meet the cost of higher civil service salaries - but adds that the cash infusion is not enough.

Biti said the government is now running a deficit of US$80 million dollars a month taking into account the increased cost of salaries since they were boosted in July, among other items. He said financial discipline is lacking in the government, exacerbating Harare's debt position.

The Finance Minister warned when the public sector salary increase went into effect over his objections that if diamond revenues do not cover additional costs salaries will be cut.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that the contribution from diamonds is as much as can be made, saying other ministries must also contribute.

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