Zim happy with fiscal reform progress


HARARE  –  Government is satisfied with  progress it has made in implementing fiscal reforms meant to address  economic challenges the country is facing, a Cabinet Minister has said.

The Zimbabwean economy went through a vicious cycle in the decade  ending 2008, which only came to a halt at the adoption of multiple  foreign currencies in 2009.

The economy, however continues to face obstacles due to various  internal and external factors.

But, the government has committed itself to an economic reform process  which includes reducing the wage bill, increasing industrial and  agricultural production and improving the ease and cost of doing  business.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa expressed  confidence of meeting set economic reform targets.

“Any reform process is not an easy process, first it is a process not  an event and as such I am very pleased with the progress that we have  made in addressing fiscal reforms,” he said.

On the wage bill, Chinamasa said he was also confident of reducing it  from the current 90 percent of revenue to about 55 percent by 2019.

“When we are talking about the wage bill I have indicated on several  platforms that we have two avenues to address the wage bill, one is  rationalisation measures, the other is to grow the cake, if we increase  the cake the wage bill will take its right proportion within a bigger  cake, so those are the two avenues that we are pursuing and I am pleased  with the progress that we have made in that front.”

Last year, Zimbabwe successfully completed an International Monetary  Fund (IMF) Staff Monitored Program (SMP), a reform plan Harare undertook  to kick-start normalization of ties with the bank.

Under the SMP, Zimbabwe committed to undertaking several reforms such  as clarifying the indigenization program and restoring confidence in the  financial services sector.

Other measures being pursued by Zimbabwe to help grow the economy  include an arrears clearance plan, dubbed the Lima plan, which was  agreed to in October 2015 in Peru, by the IMF, World Bank and the AfDB.

So far, Zimbabwe has cleared arrears owed to the IMF and is now working  on clearing arrears owed to the AfDB and the World Bank to unlock fresh  funding. – New Ziana

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