POST – BUDGET SEMINAR, 26 NOVEMBER 2018 – RAINBOW TOWERS HOTEL

Today’s live blog is brought to you by Ms T. L. Manyemba and Mr A. Nyamuramba.

Administrator November 26, 20184:18 pm

Until then good bye from us.

Administrator November 26, 20184:18 pm

Economics is a difficult subject for MPs, but they should find the such much easier to deal with the able assistance of both the Budget Office, Research Department and our facilitators.

He thanked the facilitators for agreeing to come back for free enlightment of the MPs and thereafter thanked the Clerk of Parliament and his staff for putting together the logistics.
Thereafter he declared the Post Budget Seminar officially closed after inviting the MPs to the Launch of the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence at Parliament Building at 1800hrs.
Administrator November 26, 20184:10 pm

Our tax regime should discourage corporates from declaring loses every year. This can only be achieved through the lowering of the corporate tax.

Administrator November 26, 20184:07 pm

Felt encouraged by Mr Chivore’s remarks that Parliament should have its own buses and buildings instead of sourcing out for these services, but he was however disappointed by his lack of mentioning the heed to recruit sufficient staff to mann the Budget Office, which is key in the analysis of the work of Parliament.

Administrator November 26, 20184:04 pm

Honourable members please fight for the Charter of Fiscal Responsibilities as the case in Uganda. This helps in the maintenance of prudent management of the public purse. This helps the players to stick to the utilisation of disbursed funds.

Administrator November 26, 20183:58 pm

He urged MPs to prod the Executive to create industrialisation through the production of oil at Lusulu in Binga as well as the creation of power generation at Batoka Gorge.

Administrator November 26, 20183:55 pm

We should not be importing wheat and soya beans since we have vast tracks of land that can be put to good use to ensure that we desist from the habit of importing these two food substances.

Administrator November 26, 20183:53 pm

There has been talk of production and more production without tangible results. The concoction which the economists must identify includes perfecting the Ease of Doing Business as well as making Zimbabwe an attractive investment destination.

Administrator November 26, 20183:47 pm

Lamenting the failure to evaluate the ESAP and ZIMASSET programmes before embarking on TSP, therefore he urged Parliament to demand the Results of ZIMASSET.

Administrator November 26, 20183:45 pm

In line with Section 298 to 317 of the Constitution as read with the Audit Act and Public Finance Management Act, Members will need to look at the key result result areas as well as the service delivery as intended by the Budget.

Administrator November 26, 20183:41 pm

TSP will not be fully implemented if the wrong vote is allocated to a Ministry.

Administrator November 26, 20183:39 pm

– He urged the Members to study the presentations made by the four facilitators which could prove to be useful even in the individual member’s committees.

Administrator November 26, 20183:36 pm

Closing Remarks by the Speaker of the National Assembly

The Speaker of the National Assembly thanked the members and facilitators for spending their time in order to unravel the hieroglyphics of the Budget which is difficult to comprehend.
Administrator November 26, 20183:24 pm

The issue of lifestyle audits is a good move, since our neighbor South Africa has a similar mechanism in place. I am a proponent of the principle that he who earns more should pay taxes.

Administrator November 26, 20183:13 pm

Hon Malinga in advancing the cause of the disabled people indicated that they require the opening up of facilities that are taken for granted by society such as going to work and jumping into a train and exemption of the disabled from paying for the wheel chair is not the only thing that can be done to this special group of citizens. Disability is not in my legs, eyes or arms, it is how I am treated as a human being. The disabled need respect and dignity for their rights.

Administrator November 26, 20183:02 pm

The revision of the whistle blower facility although it is a good move, the 10 percent offered is too high.

Administrator November 26, 20183:00 pm

– Exemption of non residents from filing tax returns with ZIMRA is a good move, so is the imposition of a 5% levy on all third party insurance covers.

– Among these good moves is also the imposition of a maximum penalty of $700.00 for traffic offenders.
– Increase in transit period from 3 days to 3-5 days for abnormal loads.
Administrator November 26, 20182:53 pm

– Payment of taxes for the people who trade in foreign currency should be in foreign currency as well.

– Excise duty on fuel has an impact on prices of many commodities going up.
Tax relief measures
– Shift of the taxable bracket from 300 to 350 for tax payers.
– Money transfer taxes
– Export taxes
– Sanitary wear
– Goods used by the physically challenged
Administrator November 26, 20182:39 pm

– Members of Parliament are urged to assist the Minister in monitoring if the rebates are of benefit or Government is loosing money unnecessarily.

– Members to also interrogate the issue of customs duty on motor vehicles which is to be paid in foreign currency. Government is trying to get foreign currency through this but the ordinary person will suffer.
– The Minister should consider lowering duty for motor vehicles.
Administrator November 26, 20182:33 pm
Welcome back;

Mrs A. Mutombodi Tax Consultant from Impact Tax and Accounting Services presented on the taxes that were effected in the Budget.

Extension of rebates from various sectors of the economy. Rebate is foregoing revenue for a specific intention.
Some of the industries rebates have been offered by the Minister include;
– Clothing manufactures rebate – good move for the SMEs
– Dairy Industry
– Baking industry
– Ring fencing of eggs importation
– Motor Industry
– Importation of raw wine
– Fertiliser manufacturing ring fenced duty free importation
– Furniture manufacturers
– Tourism Industry
Administrator November 26, 20181:29 pm

Join us after the lunch break at 1445 hrs.

Administrator November 26, 20181:28 pm

Parliament has three fundamental powers these rests on the three As namely Ability, Authority and Attitude. Parliament has the power in terms of the Constitution in that regard, Parliament should ensure that it invests in efficiency through capacity building in monitoring and evaluation.

Administrator November 26, 20181:24 pm

The fiscal statement should be incorporated by manufacturing, agriculture and industrial policy.

Administrator November 26, 20181:20 pm

Dr Mugano remarked that in his considered view, the manufacturing sector has been taken into consideration through the imposition of duties on competing products as well as the various tax rebates being given to the same sector.

Administrator November 26, 20181:17 pm

Th Budget Consultation in South Africa involves consultation with all think tanks but the same cannot be said about our own Zimbabwean situation for example the TSP which came out two weeks ago was a bolt from the blue. Going forward, it is envisaged that this type of consultation will exist.

Administrator November 26, 20181:02 pm

Government should take Tax incentives initiatives to companies that are increasing production and supporting grower associations as is the case in Zambia and Malawi.

Administrator November 26, 201812:58 pm

The long and short of it is that this Budget has been very reasonable as it sought to address the fiscal imbalances. On the other hand the flouting of the currency will kill the economy, the full implementation of the Money Laundering Bill is the game changer for the government.

Administrator November 26, 201812:47 pm

The budget was consistent and inconsistent at the same time. The TSP made a number of policy measures which were hanging which are now being operationalised by the budget statement. The Rand is not the best way to go because it has be earned.

– Production is the only solution to Zimbabwe’s currency problem.
Administrator November 26, 201812:44 pm

Dr Mugano recommends that the foreign currency that is going to be collected by ZIMRA should be ring fenced.

The 2 percent duty on mobile transfers is now making sense as the Minister seeks to take measures to cut expenditure.
Administrator November 26, 201812:41 pm

The reforms on parastatals are spot on. The waiver on duty for capital goods for manufacturers helps to stimulate growth in the sector.

Administrator November 26, 201812:35 pm

Parliament needs to be on the look out for unauthorised government expenditure and Public Finance Management System will ensure that offenders are brought to book.

Administrator November 26, 201812:32 pm

The bio-metric register for civil servants is a welcome development, it is a game changer as it saves and flushes out ghost workers.

Administrator November 26, 201812:30 pm

The challenge is not the currency, but it is the fiscal and trade imbalances that are a problem. In order to alleviate the trade imbalances, Zimbabwe needs to up its production levels.

Administrator November 26, 201812:28 pm

Dr G. Mugano – Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University Registrar presenting on Internal consistency, realism and reasonableness of expenditure proposals and forecasts.

Basically in Zimbabwe the challenge is lack of production. This has resulted in the economy having twin problems namely fiscal and trade imbalances. Meaning that we are importing more than we are exporting.
Administrator November 26, 201812:23 pm

Some of the outstanding issues can be resolved in the Minister’s mid-term fiscal policy or in the 2020 Budget.

Administrator November 26, 201812:21 pm

– The issue purchasing prison vehicles for the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) is commendable, because this sector requires custom made vehicles for the transportation of inmates.

– The increase in the number of farms from 8 to 12 for ZPCS is a welcome development as it helps them to achieve food security.

Administrator November 26, 201812:16 pm

The intention by govt to revive students loans and the setting aside of $2.6 billion for infrastructure rehabilitation and development, is commended. The issue of opening of the airwaves still remains outstanding.

Administrator November 26, 201812:10 pm

On paragraphs 438 – 439 of the Budget Statement, the Minister talks about e-communication, this has been on the budget for a long time with very little tangible evidence to show government’s willingness to embark on this project. Such that to date a lot of government departments still use gmail instead of creating their own official accounts.

Administrator November 26, 201812:04 pm

– The lack of legislation to decriminalise artisinal mining has led to government harnessing over 21 tonnes of gold from illegal players.

– Government should put in place legislation that recognises the importance of artisinal miner’s contribution to the economy.
Administrator November 26, 201812:02 pm

– The issue of royalties not being taken as an expense in mining has been on the drawing cards for a long time.

– Government needs to conclude the aforesaid issue once and for all.
Administrator November 26, 201811:59 am

– The suspension of customs and excise duty on sanitary ware although just for 12 months is most welcome. Disappointed that there is no rebate for employers of people with disability.

– Disappointed that the Government is not auctioning its property in time, as a result a lot of damaged vehicles still lie in government parking lots.
Administrator November 26, 201811:55 am

Mr Chivore also highlighted that there is no cancer levy included in the budget despite the fact that cancer is now one of the major killer diseases of our time.

Administrator November 26, 201811:53 am

Highlights include;

– Invoking of Customs and Excise Act and imposed duty in foreign currency on an array of goods that include motor vehicles and meat. Other affected imports include horticultural products, cosmetics and selected fruits.
– Increase in excise duty by 7 cents per litre on diesel and paraffin and 6.5 cents for petrol to reduce the arbitrage opportunities.
– 13th cheque for civil servant to be paid based on basic salaries only,
-Boarder Gezi 2 917 youths to be retired by year-end,
– Resuscitation of ZISCO Steel and Cold Storage Company;
– Parastatals reforms – partial and full privatisation
– Reduction of foreign missions
Administrator November 26, 201811:41 am

Mr P. Chivore – Deputy Director Parliament Budget Office, presenting on the key highlights of the 2019 Budget and the extent to which it incorporated recommendations from Committees of Parliament.

Administrator November 26, 201811:13 am

Join us after a 15 minute health break.

Administrator November 26, 201811:13 am

Th informal sector should be built first before subjecting it to taxation.

Administrator November 26, 201811:08 am

We need to be transparent and accountable, if the sovereign wealth fund has been put in place, no one should loot it. In China for instance one is killed if they are corrupt. We are not advocating for death but for stringent measures to be taken against corruption.

Administrator November 26, 201811:05 am

Almost every District in Zimbabwe has resources, but we lack stewardship, we need better institutions to monitor our resources because God has been very generous to Zimbabwe in terms of resource provision.

Administrator November 26, 201811:01 am

Dr Kanyenze spoke of our debt which we must resolve and not push to the next generation. If we do nothing about the debt we will still be saddled with its costs. Costs should be borne by all Zimbabweans.

Administrator November 26, 201810:39 am

The market pricing policy will clear the distortions around the exchange rate, say Dr Phindiriri. Issue of domestic debt should be monitored through the Portfolio Committees, it is the role of the legislators to demand answers from the Executive on resource utilisation, replied Dr Kanyenze

Administrator November 26, 201810:34 am

The Speaker of Parliament Hon. Adv. J.F. Mudenda and his Deputy Hon T. Gezi have now joined the seminar.

Administrator November 26, 201810:30 am
Plenary

Hon S. Chikwinya asked Dr Kanyenze how best the government can deal with the issues of acting in concert for purposes of ensuring that we grow our economy. He then asked Dr Pindiriri as to whether the TSP is not equal to ESAP.

Administrator November 26, 201810:22 am

Government has increased the budget share for infrastructure rehabilitation and development. I urge the Parliamentarians to diligently monitor government expenditure. A salary cap for top civil servants who earn high salaries is better than a blanket 5% reduction in their salaries. Given the rate of inflation the awarding of bonus without the inclusion of allowances is going to be a burden to civil servants this year given the current rate of inflation.

Administrator November 26, 201810:13 am

Health and Education have been prioritised in the Budget since we have scarce resources for us to achieve our vision of a middle class income state by 2030. We should channel our resources towards low hanging fruits. The Finance Minster recognised that the US$ is not equivalent to one Bond. He said so in his Budget Statement as he addressed the issue of fuel increases which have become the cheapest in the Region.

Administrator November 26, 201810:08 am

Retiring over 2000 youth officers has some benefits where unproductive labour is laid off. Since the government did not have adequate resources, it must be applauded for getting rid of unproductive labour.

Administrator November 26, 201810:06 am

We need to learn from the past, what has happened in the previous budgets, not only in our country but from other countries. What are the advantages and we must take democratic ownership of the Short Term Stabilisation Process properly.

Administrator November 26, 201810:04 am

Dr C. Pindiriri and Economist from the University of Zimbabwe said that the budget is based on two issues recognised debt and austerity measures. The Budget seeks to remove pricing distortions and encourage market forces to determine pricing.

Administrator November 26, 201810:01 am

The calibre of the Minister of Finance does not matter, for Zimbabwe to turn around its economy. All we require is the involvement of all Zimbabweans in all their diverse sectors to put their heads together and put Zimbabwe first.

Administrator November 26, 20189:58 am

Zimbabwe needs to change from rent seeking behaviour. We should put a plug to the habit of plundering of resources by individuals with impunity. Everyone should be held to account if Zimbabwe’s economy is to improve. Our politics should not be polarised because once it becomes toxic, it will affect our efforts to economic recovery.

Administrator November 26, 20189:53 am

If Parliamentarians were meticulous in their Oversight Role they could have found out where the US$15 billion revenue in the Chiadzwa Diamond Fields went to.

Administrator November 26, 20189:50 am

Zimbabwe can get it if we really want it. We need a paradigm shift in our resource utilisation, incorporating the women and youth in our backward linkage policy.

Administrator November 26, 20189:48 am

In the Tourism sector Dr Kanyenze lamented the lack of creativity around tourist resort areas. He urged the sector to come up with a Memorabilia, guided tours where the full history of the resort area will be provided to the tourists. a case in point being the guided tours that are being undertaken by our South African counterparts to areas such as Soweto and Robin Island.

Administrator November 26, 20189:42 am

In terms of social safety nets $6 per month per household has been set aside, this falls way below what should be allocated to these vulnerable groups.

Administrator November 26, 20189:40 am

Health and Child Welfare has been allocated 6,8% of the budget contrary to the dictates of the Abuja Declaration which stipulates that the Ministry should receive 15% of the national budget.

Administrator November 26, 20189:38 am

Parliament should make sure that their Oversight of parastatals creates good corporate governance and that there are no sacred cows.

Administrator November 26, 20189:35 am

Mozambique and Zambia our neighbors have attracted investment but the same cannot be said about Zimbabwe. We need to spruce up our act. Gone are the days when being employed by parastatals such as ZESA and NRZ were the employers of choice. We have reduced them into a sorry state.

Administrator November 26, 20189:32 am

Zimbabwe has improved by four ranks in terms of the index of Ease of Doing Business that is from 159 out of 190 countries it is now sitting on 155 out of 190.

Administrator November 26, 20189:31 am

Zimbabwe is well endowed with resources but sadly saddled with corruption and greedy. Unfortunately this is our Achilles Heel.

Administrator November 26, 20189:27 am

In Zimbabwe the salary is not working. The 5% deduction in the salaries for certain categories is not the issue, we need to address the issue of the allowances such a housing, transport, accommodation and school fees which are being paid to top government officials. It remains to be seen if the pronouncements around the 13th cheque are going to be adhered to.

Administrator November 26, 20189:25 am

Parliament need to investigate which loans has government taken and to what use have the loans been put to.

Administrator November 26, 20189:22 am

Zimbabwe has a debt of 17,7 billion which needs to be cleared. The Minister says that our debt clearance should be done within 12 months. As Zimbabweans we should live within our means.

Administrator November 26, 20189:21 am

Zimbabwean has created a culture of impunity where government flouts the law without any punishment. We should have a paradigm shift as Members of Parliament where we hold government to account.

Administrator November 26, 20189:18 am

Medical Aid Societies and Pharmacies are demanding payment in real currency much to the chagrin of the ordinary members of the public who had previously deposited hard currencies.

Administrator November 26, 20189:16 am

The farming equipment and implements that were issued to known individuals which was then converted to a national debt has serious repercussions to the economy as it is contrary to the principle of he who has a debt must pay.

Administrator November 26, 20189:13 am

In Zimbabwe farming has lost its essence when the Budget is not adhered to. Year in year out we have dismally failed to honour our budget as the majority of ministries overspend even without condonation from Parliament.

Administrator November 26, 20189:11 am

Zimbabwe has adequate resources but does not get its priorities right. What is needed is to normalise resource management and move away from the habit of relying on one source of resource mobilisation which is domestic mobilisation through taxation.

Administrator November 26, 20189:08 am

Part of the challenge in Zimbabwe is that we have not had full space utilisation for diamonds.

Administrator November 26, 20189:06 am

In the Budget the Minister revised the growth rate to 4% in 2018 although two weeks earlier he had claimed that Zimbabwe was in the 6% growth rate club.

Administrator November 26, 20189:05 am

The opening up of the economy although necessary, does not address the issue of economic growth. Our dashboard should reflect that we are targeting some of the macro-economic issues such as interest rate and unemployment.

Administrator November 26, 20189:01 am

Despite having Africa having a 5% annual growth rate, we have not succeeded in reducing poverty and unemployment.

Administrator November 26, 20188:58 am

One of the major ills that is counter productive is the problem of corruption. Without its eradication, our dream of achieving middle-class economy by 2030 will remain a pie in the sky.

Administrator November 26, 20188:56 am

Essentially the Minister is appealing to Zimbabweans to be united in order to drive the economy forward. Polarisation is a recipe for disaster, in that regard every Zimbabwean should put their shoulders to the wheel.

Administrator November 26, 20188:54 am

Parliamentarians need to be careful of the impact of the austerity measures to ensure that there is a balance of interest between their constituencies and government interests.

Administrator November 26, 20188:51 am

Zimbabwe’s vision is to have an upper-middle class earning between US$3500 – US$15 000. The Minister of Finance has come up with painful but necessary austerity measures.

Administrator November 26, 20188:48 am

Hon. E. Ncube has just kick started the day’s proceedings with a word of prayer, followed by Hon F. T. Mhona the Chairperson of the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee who then called Dr G. Kanyenze an Economic Analyst.

Administrator November 26, 20188:46 am

The Assistant Clerk of Parliament Mr J. Gandiwa has just announced that the programme will continue without the Presiding Officers who have gone to present themselves to His Excellency, The President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa in line with the Constitution.