Source: Address procrastination, idleness, laziness, legislators urged – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 10, 2017
A 2018 parliamentary pre-budget seminar has started in Victoria Falls amid calls for legislators to prioritise a well-grounded economic investment framework and completion of hanging projects.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday said he expected presentations to be premised on native resource mobilisation which must strategically guarantee the narrowing of the budget deficit to 4% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 as enunciated in the Treasury Pre-Budget Strategy.
“Your presentations must address the debilitating spirit of procrastination, indolence and inertia that has slowly become endemic and is proving to be the biggest enemy in our bureaucracy, apart from the scourge of corruption,” he said.
“For instance, for more than 10 years we have eloquently enunciated the need for and the benefits of establishing a One-Stop Investment Centre in order to bolster the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe. The question is, more than a decade down the line where is the one-stop investment centre? Where is the Minerals Exploration Bill which will enable the country to precisely know the worth of our vast mineral resources underground that could underpin a profound growth of our Sovereign Wealth Fund?
“Where is the evidence-based informal sector formalisation policy which ought to encourage its growth and development? Where is the revised Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act reconfigured in line with the Presidential Policy Directive April 14, 2015? We must kill the vices of procrastination, indolence and inertia if we are to positively respond to the questions I have just posed.”
Mudenda said if hanging concessions were implemented, this would help clear external and internal debts.
He also called for implementation of Diaspora policy to promote investment while bringing in forex.
“It is no secret that Zimbabwe’s foreign payment backlog runs into hundreds of millions of dollars despite spirited efforts to ensure critical areas receive adequate forex. Our forex sources are principally exports, Diaspora remittances and the limited Foreign Direct Investments,” Mudenda said.
“We, therefore, yearn for proposals on special tax and other incentives for Diaspora investments in property, equities and other assets. We want to hear suggestions on how to re-route remittances through formal channels instead of concealed envelopes.”
Mudenda also called on legislators to input into and pass a budget which exudes pro-poor and gender sensitive national economic development strategies embracive of the sustainable development goals.