NCC BILL GAZETTED
THE Government has gazetted the National Competitiveness Commission (NCC) Bill as it moves to expedite the creation of an efficient and cost-effective business operating environment, an official has said.
The development fundamentally paves way for the repeal of the National Incomes and Pricing Act Chapter 14:32 and operationalisation of the NCC.
The NCC’s role — among others — is to co-ordinate Government policy related to the business sector.
“The NCC Bill was gazetted on 23 September 2016. The NCC will enable the creation of a competitive business environment in Zimbabwe through development, co-ordination and implementation of key policy improvements,” said Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha.
The bill also provides the framework to reduce prices of goods and services in the economy by encouraging competitiveness and improving the ease of doing business.
According to the 2014 cost driver analysis report, many of the costs of production in Zimbabwe are higher than those of neighbouring countries with which Zimbabwe competes for exports and investment.
Experts have insisted that the country can enhance the prospects for future growth by identifying and focusing on these co s t drivers.
Other constraints relate to infrastructure deficit including water, power, transport and communications. These have negatively affected the ease of doing business in the country, which affects investment flows, productivity as well as employment creation.
Other identified challenges to doing business include labour law rigidities and a multiplicity of operational permits and licences.
Meanwhile, Minister Bimha said the Government is in the process of developing a local procurement policy that will encourage both individuals and companies to buy locally.
“We’re in the process of developing a local procurement policy to encourage both individuals and corporates to develop a culture to buy locally.
“The policy will also encourage production of high quality goods which can compete internationally,” he said. Latest statistics from the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZimStats) show that the country recorded a trade deficit of $1,82 billion for the eight months to August 2016.
During that period, Zimbabwe imported goods worth $3,329 billion compared to exports of $1, 507 billion. — BH24/Business
Delegates at the ZNCC Pre-2017 National budget seminar in Bulawayo last week
Minister Mike Bimha