Em­brace aus­ter­ity mea­sures to mend econ­omy

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Gov­ern­ment has hit the ground run­ning in mak­ing sure that mea­sures are put in place to re­sus­ci­tate the econ­omy and en­sure a bet­ter qual­ity life for all. Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said it loud and clear that top on the pri­or­ity list is to re­vive the coun­try’s econ­omy, and the Cab­i­net has been busy com­ing up with strate­gies and poli­cies to at­tract for­eign and do­mes­tic in­vest­ment.

None­the­less, what Zim­bab­weans should bear in mind is that some tough de­ci­sions have to be made to make things move, and what is needed is pa­tience and sup­port to the Gov­ern­ment.

Peo­ple have to ap­pre­ci­ate where the coun­try is com­ing from in eco­nomic terms, and un­der­stand that new poli­cies and strate­gies must be given time to bear fruit, though the Gov­ern­ment has main­tained that it has come up with some quick win strate­gies to jump start the econ­omy.

Last week, Cab­i­net ap­proved for im­me­di­ate im­ple­men­ta­tion the Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme an­nounced by Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube. In­for­ma­tion, Public­ity and Broad­cast­ing Services Min­is­ter Mon­ica Mutsvangwa told the me­dia that Cab­i­net de­lib­er­ated on the mea­sures af­ter a pre­sen­ta­tion by Prof Ncube be­fore adopt­ing them.

“The im­ple­men­ta­tion process will ac­cord­ingly com­mence this month and run up to De­cem­ber 2020. The launch of the pro­gramme is to take place very soon,” said Min­is­ter Mutsvangwa.

She said the pro­gramme’s main thrust is to en­sure the sta­bil­i­sa­tion of the macro-eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment that in­clude the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, in­tro­duc­tion of nec­es­sary pol­icy and in­sti­tu­tional re­forms to fa­cil­i­tate pri­vate sec­tor led eco­nomic growth and the launch of the quick win projects and pro­grammes to stim­u­late eco­nomic growth.

“Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the quick win projects and pro­grammes will be un­der­taken in 100 Day Cy­cles guided by the Rapid Re­sults Ap­proach. The Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme con­sti­tutes the first phase of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Vi­sion 2030 and will thus pave way for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of two suc­ces­sive Five-Year De­vel­op­ment Plans which are to run from 2021 to 2030,” said Min­is­ter Mutsvangwa.

The Min­is­ter said key fea­tures and ob­jec­tives in­cluded ad­dress­ing var­i­ous ex­ist­ing and ex­ter­nal and macro-eco­nomic im­bal­ances, thus pro­vid­ing a foun­da­tion for ro­bust eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment beyond 2020.

They also in­clude strength­en­ing fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity and manage­ment of Gov­ern­ment ex­pen­di­tures so as to di­vert re­sources from re­cur­rent ex­pen­di­ture to pro­duc­tive ac­tiv­i­ties, fa­cil­i­tate in­no­va­tion in the de­sign and ad­min­is­tra­tion of taxes to in­clude sim­pli­fied tax struc­tures for mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises.

“Other fea­tures in­clude tar­get­ing the erad­i­ca­tion of cor­rup­tion, which is a ma­jor source of leak­ages to pub­lic rev­enues and a cost bur­den to busi­nesses. In­sti­tut­ing mea­sures that seek to strengthen the econ­omy’s balance of pay­ments in or­der to en­hance ex­ports, cur­rency com­pet­i­tive­ness and cap­i­tal in­flows and re­duce over de­pen­dency on im­ports,” she said.

Other fea­tures in­cluded the de­sire to ra­tio­nalise the civil service so as to re­duce the un­sus­tain­able pub­lic sec­tor wage bill.

Min­is­ter Mutsvangwa said Cab­i­net had also con­sid­ered the Zim­babwe In­vest­ment and De­vel­op­ment Bill that was pre­sented by In­dus­try and Com­merce Min­is­ter, Nqo­bizitha Ndlovu.

In ad­di­tion, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Ncube as­sured For­eign Cur­rency Ac­count (FCA) hold­ers that Gov­ern­ment will not raid their hard cur­rency, in­stead ad­e­quate mea­sures will be put in place to ring-fence them.

Prof Ncube said the de­ci­sion by the old dis­pen­sa­tion in which cor­po­rates, em­bassies and in­di­vid­u­als lost their hard cur­rency af­ter they were raided will not “hap­pen again un­der my watch” as peo­ple would ac­cess their money on de­mand.

The as­sur­ance came af­ter in­di­vid­u­als and cor­po­rates raised con­cern on the “safety” of the for­eign cur­rency ac­counts, ob­vi­ously think­ing of what hap­pened in the past.

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