Mid-term fis­cal pol­icy laud­able

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

ED­I­TOR — The re­cent pre­sen­ta­tion of the Mid-term Fis­cal Pol­icy re­view state­ment by Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter, Pa­trick Chi­na­masa, should be com­mended as it ad­dresses the pos­si­ble mea­sures in our en­deav­our to de­velop the na­tion us­ing the avail­able re­sources.

While it may be dif­fi­cult for some in­di­vid­u­als es­pe­cially from the civil ser­vice per­spec­tive to ac­cept the pro­posed re­forms, but on a macroe­co­nomic level the mea­sures that were put across by Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa are the only way out for the coun­try to move for­ward.

It is worth not­ing that Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa’s Mid-term Fis­cal Pol­icy re­view con­trib­utes mostly to eco­nomic con­fi­dence and a more sta­ble fi­nan­cial en­vi­ron­ment. Ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa, the pub­lic sec­tor wage bill is cur­rently guz­zling about 96,8 per­cent of the to­tal bud­get. This is detri­men­tal to eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment as most of the funds are di­rected to­wards salary pay­ments at the ex­pense of na­tional de­vel­op­ment.

By mod­er­at­ing the ex­pen­di­ture of the pub­lic sec­tor on avail­able sav­ings, the cur­rent Mid-term Fis­cal Pol­icy will con­trib­ute to lower in­ter­est rates, which in turn en­cour­ages in­vest­ment, pro­duc­tiv­ity and growth.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa’s state­ment on MidTerm Fis­cal Pol­icy re­view en­cour­ages in­vest­ment in the coun­try. I’m sure if for­eign or lo­cal in­vestors are given the op­por­tu­nity to do busi­ness lo­cally, Gov­ern­ment will be able to boost its Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct through in­creased tax­a­tion.

Hence, the Mid-term Fis­cal Pol­icy re­view by Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa can best be de­scribed as an ef­fec­tive tool for sup­port­ing eco­nomic growth. At the macro level, it plays an im­por­tant role in en­sur­ing macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity which is a pre­req­ui­site for achiev­ing and main­tain­ing eco­nomic growth.

In sim­pler terms, the re­forms by Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa are eco­nom­i­cally es­sen­tial as they will have long-term growth as a re­sult of en­hanced pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Cur­rently, the sta­tus of the econ­omy needs painful de­ci­sions Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa pro­posed in the Midterm Bud­get re­view state­ment. This should be lauded as the first to re­dress the eco­nomic chal­lenges.

It is pleas­ing and com­fort­ing that the Mid-Term Fis­cal Pol­icy also seeks to cre­ate a cli­mate con­ducive to in­creased do­mes­tic sav­ings. I am con­vinced that there is no harm in sus­pend­ing civil ser­vants bonus for two years, in light of the big­ger pic­ture the mid-term state­ment seeks to achieve.

The min­is­ter’s idea of trim­ming the civil ser­vice is also laud­able. Down­siz­ing the civil ser­vice by 25 000 per­son­nel will also re­sult in an­nual sav­ings. Cur­rently, the civil ser­vice work­force is at 298 000. Ra­tion­al­i­sa­tion of the civil ser­vice is a nec­es­sary mea­sure as the saved funds will be chan­nelled to­wards na­tional growth.

Mean­while, there is a need for political will in curb­ing cor­rup­tion. Cor­rup­tion is an­other ma­jor ob­sta­cle that is cur­rently af­fect­ing de­vel­op­ment pro­cesses. Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa hinted that cor­rup­tion is an ad­di­tional cost in do­ing busi­ness, as it scares away in­vestors who may want to do busi­ness in the coun­try.

If left unchecked, the can­cer of cor­rup­tion is caus­ing much harm to de­vel­op­men­tal ef­forts that Gov­ern­ment is un­der­tak­ing.

I be­lieve as a na­tion it is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to build the na­tion. Ev­ery­one should chip in and make nec­es­sary ef­fort to achieve zero tol­er­ance to cor­rup­tion. As long as there is no political will, sup­port and will­ing­ness to fight cor­rup­tion from every cor­ner of the coun­try’s econ­omy, the fight is bound to be fu­tile.

Zim­babwe Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion should step up ef­forts to deal with cor­rup­tion. ZACC should be em­pow­ered to work in­de­pen­dently with­out the in­ter­fer­ence from ei­ther politi­cians or Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. ZACC should make full use of ex­ist­ing an­ti­cor­rup­tion tools and de­velop new ones in fight­ing cor­rup­tion. Sibu­siso Nd­lamini, Harare.

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