‘Speed up amendment of busi­ness laws’

The Manica Post - - Business/farming - Kudzanai Gerede Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

DE­LAYS in amend­ing statu­tory in­stru­ments gov­ern­ing var­i­ous eco­nomic sec­tors in line with rec­om­men­da­tions gath­ered dur­ing the first and sec­ond 100 days un­der the Rapid Re­sults Frame­work of the Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness Re­forms are negat­ing progress on set­ting the coun­try as an in­vest­ment hot­bed, a top Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial has said.

Fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of the Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones ( SEZs) board to be chaired by for­mer Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe Gov­er­nor, Dr Gideon Gono last week, the coun­try is now greater po­si­tioned to at­tract in­vest­ment in the SEZs but most of its costly and time con­sum­ing le­gal in­stru­ments af­fect­ing busi­ness are yet to be aligned with lat­est flex­i­ble rec­om­men­da­tions.

Speak­ing at the side­lines of the Im­pact of Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness on Cur­rent and Fu­ture Busi­ness De­vel­op­ments Work­shop in Harare last week, Deputy Chief Sec­re­tary in the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent Dr Ray Ndhlukula told Busi­ness Post that the leg­is­la­ture was yet to syn­chro­nise var­i­ous statu­tory in­stru­ments with rec­om­men­da­tions.

“With re­gards to ad­min­is­tra­tive changes, there are quite a lot of statu­tory in­stru­ments to be looked at in or­der to com­ply or con­form to the rec­om­men­da­tions that we have in the trans­port sec­tor, ex­port sec­tor and oth­ers.

“We are ex­pand­ing to other sec­tors like man­u­fac­tur­ing and tourism. We are sat­is­fied with progress that has been hap­pen­ing. Ac­tu­ally, we en­cour­age greater col­lab­o­ra­tion not only in the ex­ec­u­tive in Gov­ern­ment but the leg­isla­tive arm as well,” said Dr Ndhlukula.

The con­fer­ence high­lighted a lot of struc­tural and in­fras­truc­tural bot­tle­necks at both mi­cro and macroe­co­nomic lev­els af­fect­ing the smooth flow of busi­ness in the coun­try such as mul­ti­plic­ity of state de­part­ments’ of­fices for reg­is­tra­tion of com­pa­nies, higher cost of com­pany reg­is­tra­tion rel­a­tive to other coun­tries and the con­fu­sion en­su­ing from the yet to be amended In­di­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment Act clar­i­fied by the Pres­i­dent last year.

Eco­nomic ex­perts have how­ever called on the Gov­ern­ment to speed the align­ment of var­i­ous com­pet­i­tive rec­om­men­da­tions within the ex­ist­ing le­gal frame­work at a time in­vest­ment is ex­pected to trickle fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of the SEZ board that will pro­vide over­sight on in­vest­ment mat­ters in th­ese ar­eas.

Gov­ern­ment has al­ready iden­ti­fied, Mutare, Bu­l­awayo, Lu­pane, Vic­to­ria Falls and Sun­way city in­dus­trial park in Harare as strate­gic in­vest­ment cen­tres which will en­joy in­cen­tives such as tax hol­i­days and free duty for com­pa­nies that will op­er­ate from there.

“We have just cre­ated a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment as far as Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones are con­cerned. As you can see Min­is­ter Obert Mpofu an­nounced the SEZ board which means we have to start work­ing now. I am quite con­fi­dent that once the en­vi­ron­ment has been cre­ated we should be able to at­tract in­vest­ment across the world. That we are very much con­fi­dent about,” added Dr Ndhlukula.

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