Mid-term fiscal policy laudable
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.