By Joyce Mukucha and Patricia Mashiri
The government of Zimbabwe is working tirelessly to fix the economy of the country through a number of initiatives which were presented at the post budget seminar which took place on 08 January 2018 under the theme “New Economic Order.”
The Post Budget Seminar brought to light the fact that the new system of economic organisation and management will incorporate elements of market economy in which enterprise is encouraged while industrialising the economy.
It contains expenditure management measures on poverty alleviation to reorient the budget towards support for developmental programmes and projects.
Advocate Jacob Mudenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly outlined the problems which are currently faced by the country which needs attention.
“Fiscal deficits are stabilising and current account deficits are narrowing in most Sus-Saharan Countries partly reflecting a slight rebound in commodity prizes. There are however, mounting vulnerabilities in the region, notably rising public debt, financial sectors strains and low external buffers.
“While efforts are underway to diversify the economy away from over reliance on commodity exports in the medium to long term, on current reality places significant reliance on unprocessed and semi- processed raw commodities such as gold, tobacco and platinum as the country’s foreign exchange lifelines,” Mudenda said.
Mudenda said domestic development growth is anticipated to remain above 4,5% premised on government charting a new way forward with economic and investment recovery measures towards a new economic order underpinned by strengthening of cooperation with global partners.
He added that agriculture is estimated to grow by 15.9% in 2017 on the back of government coordinated interventions in partnership with the private sector. The Command Agriculture programme is expected to include soya beans and livestock production to sustain growth of the sector.
Professor Ashok Chakravart, an Economic Analyst said the country needs adequate resources for example for education and ongoing food self-sufficiency. The shortage of foreign currency needs to be addressed.
Another Economic Analyst, Gift Mugano said there is more work which need to be done in aligning the public management act of the country in as far as Gross Domestic Products are concerned.
Mugano said the government is importing too many products from nearby countries which must be stopped so as to boost our economy by buying locally produced goods.
Commissioner Naome Chimbetete, Gender Budgeting Specialist together with by Cleopatra Hurungo also said gender is a very cross cutting issue and they emphasised that there is need to focus more on gender responsive budgeting.
In order to ensure that gender is mainstreamed, they said, ministry of Industry and Commerce to monitor and re-engage with gender issues.