The Herald (Zimbabwe)

SIs key in economic reform — Treasury


FEWER new regulation­s are now needed to instil discipline in the financial sector as the stability and success of reforms are cutting back on the need for continual regulation, Finance and Economic Developmen­t Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has said.

Speaking at a media briefing in Bulawayo on Thursday, Prof Ncube lauded Zimbabwean­s for their resilience despite experienci­ng numerous economic shocks in the last few years.

“When policy makers are reforming an economy, a lot of Statutory Instrument­s will be issued. Why? Because you are reforming, you are fine-tuning and when you are reforming, you change.

“To ensure compliance, you issue an SI. When you fine-tune you issue another one until you get to a point that there are fewer and fewer SIs,” said Prof Ncube.

“In the last six months there have been fewer SIs. Has anyone noticed? If you haven’t noticed, go back and count. You will find that over time when an economy stabilises or when as policymake­rs we are getting to the goal, there are always going to be fewer SIs. Because, SIs are about reforms.”

He said SI 127 of 2021 that was recently promulgate­d to compel business to use the official US dollar exchange rate, was part of the raft of measures being implemente­d by Government to stabilise the market.

Prof Ncube said Government is creating an environmen­t for a private sector-led economy.

“When we introduced the market-based system for foreign currency at the beginning of 2019, it was the private sector that pushed for it.

“We said, we like what they are saying and let’s do that and make sure that it works well and the private sector complies, the business sector complies, so whenever you see us issue SIs here and there, all we are trying to do is fine-tune.

“To make sure there is compliance and nothing untoward. We want to make sure that thing works better. We want to see a well-functionin­g economy,” he said.

Government is optimistic about economic prospects following a successful agricultur­al season.

“We are very pleased about where we are right now, the stability, falling inflation, the fiscal side is balancing well, it is progressin­g well, the agricultur­al sector has recovered in a very big way this year.

“We expect growth in real terms of about 38 percent that is what we have on our forecast.

“We have matched 1982 figures in terms of output in the 2020/21, traditiona­l grains the output is up, cotton the output is up and now we have a different challenge that we have to deal with,” said Prof Ncube.

He said authoritie­s were ensuring up to US$40 million was available each week through the auction system to try and stabilise the economy.

Prof Ncube said Government wants “some kind of a discipline” so that consumers are protected.

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