CASH SHORT­AGES Min­is­ter urges busi­nesses to em­brace multi-cur­ren­cies

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Leonard Ncube in Vic­to­ria Falls

FI­NANCE and Economic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa says busi­nesses should sup­port the multi-cur­rency sys­tem to ease cash short­ages re­sult­ing from the high de­mand for the United States dol­lar.

Zim­babwe has been plagued by cash short­ages in the last few months forc­ing de­pos­i­tors to spend hours in bank queues, es­pe­cially on pay days.

Some banks have re­duced with­drawal lim­its to $100 per day with an­a­lysts warn­ing this could neg­a­tively af­fect pub­lic con­fi­dence in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor.

Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa im­plored Zim­bab­weans to play their part in restor­ing economic sta­bil­ity and ad­vised buy­ers and pro­cure­ment pro­fes­sion­als to de­mand in­voices from in­ter­na­tional sup­pli­ers in other cur­ren­cies other than the US dol­lar.

“As buy­ers do not look at per­sonal gains at the ex­pense of the na­tion. I would want to urge buy­ers and pro­cure­ment ex­perts to help re­store the coun­try’s mul­ti­c­ur­rency sys­tem,” he told buy­ers and pro­cure­ment of­fi­cers in Vic­to­ria Falls last week.

“The dom­i­nance of the United States dol­lar will con­tinue to put pres­sure on our in­dus­try. There­fore de­mand­ing in­voices from your in­ter­na­tional sup­pli­ers in other cur­ren­cies such as rand or yuan will help re­duce pres­sure on de­mand for the US dol­lar.”

The Min­is­ter en­cour­aged pro­cure­ment ex­perts and busi­nesses to adopt pric­ing mod­els in other cur­ren­cies in­clud­ing the rand, eu­ros, pounds, and yuan among oth­ers in or­der to re­store the multi-cur­rency sys­tem.

“I know that pro­cure­ment pro­fes­sion­als have a huge say in pric­ing mod­els. I would there­fore want to im­plore you to closely in­ter­ro­gate th­ese pro­pos­als for the ben­e­fit of our do­mes­tic in­dus­try and Zim­babwe at large,” he said.

Min­is­ter said the coun­try can­not grow the econ­omy with­out a ro­bust in­dus­trial base, whose sur­vival de­pends on all stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing pro­cure­ment pro­fes­sion­als.

He said the Gov­ern­ment re­mains com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing do­mes­tic in­dus­try de­spite the chal­lenges fac­ing the econ­omy in the face of sanc­tions, low lev­els of com­pet­i­tive­ness, lim­ited ac­cess to lines of credit due to debt over­hang and in­flux of cheap im­ports.

Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa said Trea­sury would gen­er­ate suf­fi­cient re­sources to sup­port Gov­ern­ment pro­grammes if the econ­omy grows sus­tain­ably with key economic play­ers play­ing their part as well.

He chal­lenged par­tic­i­pants to brain­storm on how to help trans­form the coun­try’s so­cio-economic for­tunes through pro­mot­ing ef­fec­tive and trans­par­ent pro­cure­ment sys­tems

The min­is­ter said some of the chal­lenges he high­lighted in the 2016 Mid-Year Fis­cal Pol­icy Re­view State­ment such as low pro­duc­tion lev­els, un­sus­tain­able fis­cal and trade deficits as well as cap­i­tal ac­count deficit could be ad­dressed by a hav­ing pro-de­vel­op­ment pro­cure­ment sys­tem.

He added that the con­fer­ence, which was or­gan­ised by Char­tered In­sti­tute of Pro­cure­ment and Sup­ply (CIPS), had come at a time when Zim­babwe was ex­plor­ing ways of re­duc­ing the cost of do­ing busi­ness, which has seen the coun­try be­ing ranked 155 in the global ease of do­ing busi­ness.

“As you may know Zim­babwe hasn’t been far­ing well on the World Bank’s Do­ing Busi­ness rank­ings over the years. Our rank­ing im­proved from 171 to 155 fol­low­ing a num­ber of ad­min­is­tra­tive and leg­isla­tive re­forms that Gov­ern­ment has im­ple­mented.

“We’re now tar­get­ing rank­ing around 100 by end of 2016 and we need to do more to achieve this par­tic­u­larly in pub­lic sec­tor poli­cies and pro­cure­ment that con­tinue to dis­tort the cost of do­ing busi­ness,” he said.

e con­fer­ence was held un­der the theme: “Driv­ing value for money in pro­cure­ment.” — @ncubeleon

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