Captains of industry have expressed their discontent with the recent Mid-term Monetary Policy released by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube labelling it as unsustainable and out of touch with the ordinary citizens.
Speaking during exclusive interviews with the Zim Morning Post, industry players described the policy as an unnecessary extension of the ‘austerity for prosperity’ mantra hell bent on making the lives of the general citizenry harder.
Economist Gift Mugano indicated that the policy is heavily dependent on revenue collection and not on production making it impossible for the country to move forward economically.
“There is great need of a trajectory change if Zimbabwe is to move forward and Ncube has not been doing enough,” noted Mugano.
“He bases his budget on revenue yet as a country we need to be producing goods for us to be sustainable hence the weight of the economy weighs heavily on the taxpayer.”
According to the budget breakdown it would seem 75% of government income is projected to come from taxes which makes it unsustainable and shows no initiatives by government to broaden its income generation.
Mugano criticized the budget for not dwelling much on employment creation which could be attained by resuscitating the production sector and cut critical costs which are bleeding the country through the importation of goods that could be produced within Zimbabwe.
“Mthuli was supposed to invest in the production sector and that could save us more than 2 billion dollars that we are losing through importation of goods that we can produce locally. We are loaing 300 million to agricultural imports of the smallest of things like tomatoes and onions which we can produce locally in the country.
“Zimbabwe is currently importing goods like baby diapers, sanitary ware, toothpicks,maize, the source of our staple food yet the country has the ability to produce these things and get revenue from exporting them in return.
“The budget is not empowering the Ministry of Industry but instead rendering it useless.”
The Zimbabwe Secretary General for the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Japhet Moyo described the budget as an unnecessary continuation of austerity measures which are killing the economy instead of moving forward as it was done without consultation.
“The budget was poorly done in panic mode without proper consultations and this is the first time in the history of Zimbabwe that a budget formulation is done without consulting the labour sector,” he said.
“Wages are not moving together with the price increases and this is unfair to the workers. Workers are still getting paid ZWL$400 yet the tax threshold has been increased to ZWL$750 and that is a recipe for disaster, no employer is willing to increase the wages.”
Moyo predicted the closure of shops as workers would no-longer be able afford basic commodities due to poor wages.
“The surrogate currency is not sustainable and in three months time the Zim Dollar will be useless taking back the country to the 2007/08 period.”
Yesterday Mthuli announced the midterm monetary policy with a government expenditure projected at 18.62 billion dollars to be supported with an annual income of 14.06 billion dollars.
The budget tagged the employment cost to ZWL$5.56 billion while capital expenditure was projected at ZWL$7.08 billion.