Boost for eco­nomic re­forms

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Govern­ment has come up with a num­ber of pol­icy re­forms to steady the ship and en­sure eco­nomic sta­bil­ity and suc­cess. What is pleas­ing is that the ef­forts have not gone un­no­ticed as they have re­ceived sup­port from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity which has ex­pressed will­ing­ness to play a role in the coun­try’s road to re­cov­ery. As a num­ber of Govern­ment of­fi­cials have said, the peo­ple of Zimbabwe must be pa­tient and give sup­port to the Govern­ment so that it can do its work to make this place a bet­ter place for all.

While we have wit­nessed wan­ton price dis­tor­tions for ba­sic com­modi­ties and ser­vices re­cently, the truth of the mat­ter is that Govern­ment is on top of the sit­u­a­tion and nor­malcy will re­turn in no time. Those who have been in­creas­ing prices willy-nilly are sim­ply greedy busi­ness­peo­ple since man­u­fac­tur­ers did not in­crease prices of any prod­ucts.

The good news is that the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund and the World Bank are back­ing Zimbabwe’s debt clear­ance strat­egy and the coun­try’s two-year eco­nomic sta­bil­i­sa­tion plan. This was an­nounced by Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Prof Mthuli Ncube while in In­done­sia where he held a round­table meet­ing with global lenders in Bali at the IMF/World Bank an­nual meet­ings to dis­cuss a road map for clear­ing Zimbabwe’s chok­ing $1,8 bil­lion ar­rears last week. Clear­ing the ar­rears to the World Bank and the African De­vel­op­ment Bank will help un­lock new fund­ing for the coun­try that was stopped in 2000 af­ter the coun­try de­faulted.

“It is also im­por­tant to note that all the co-op­er­at­ing part­ners and cred­i­tors present, uni­formly ex­pressed their (sup­port) for Zimbabwe and its ar­rears clear­ance roadmap, and that the meet­ing has been the best so far on Zimbabwe’s ar­rears clear­ance process,” said Min­is­ter Ncube in a state­ment.

The meet­ing, chaired by the World Bank, was also at­tended by The Paris Club, as well as bi­lat­eral part­ners such as Bri­tain, the US, Aus­tralia, Nether­lands and South Africa, among oth­ers.

Min­is­ter Ncube out­lined the coun­try’s turn­around strat­egy and the roadmap to achieve up­per mid­dle in­come econ­omy by 2030 that was well re­ceived. These are cen­tred on the pol­icy re­forms the Govern­ment of Zimbabwe is un­der­tak­ing through Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme. The eco­nomic re­cov­ery pro­gramme is aimed at re­duc­ing pub­lic ex­pen­di­ture by re­struc­tur­ing the civil ser­vice cur­rently con­sum­ing about 90 per­cent of the State rev­enues.

The plan will also pri­ori­tise the pri­vati­sa­tion of State-owned com­pa­nies. France has also ex­pressed its sup­port to­wards the ar­rears clear­ance and re­cov­ery plans, while en­cour­ag­ing the Paris Club Group of cred­i­tors to put their weight be­hind Zimbabwe’s plans. As Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa has al­ways said, Zimbabwe is poised for eco­nomic turn­around and the fu­ture is surely bright.

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