Government has received overwhelming support from exporters who are primarily the intended beneficiaries of the impending introduction of bond notes, a Cabinet minister has said.Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said it was not true that the market had rejected bond notes.
He said exporters had instead, raised concern on the proposed five percent export incentive which they felt was little. Minister Chinamasa said this in the National Assembly yesterday while responding to questions from backbenchers.
Binga North MP Mr Prince Sibanda (MDC-T) had asked how Government intended to maintain parity of the bond note to the United States dollar in a market he said had literally rejected the surrogate currency.
“I dispute the allegation that the whole market is resisting the bond notes. The criticism we have been getting is that those that are going to benefit are saying the five percent is too little, they wanted it raised to 15 percent. If you are not exporting you have nothing to worry about. You are just a consumer of what these people (exporters) have done for you without even working,” said Minister Chinamasa.
He said it was important for people to have confidence in what Government was doing, including the introduction of bond notes.
“It is important to treat whatever we are going to do with confidence. Do not withdraw it because if you withdraw it, you do it at your peril, you do it at the peril of your family, at the peril of your business. That is the truth. It is important as a nation that we build confidence in what the Government is doing including the introduction of bond notes,” said Minister Chinamasa.
Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T), wanted to know if Government was certain that people would have confidence in the bond notes.
Said Minister Chinamasa; “Confidence is built by a multiple of factors, which include clarity on our policies and (as we) try to avoid inconsistencies in our policies. Those are the issues, which we should take in building confidence. The measures that we are taking to improving the ease of doing business, all those things go towards improving confidence levels by our Zimbabwean citizens,” he said.
Minister Chinamasa said the foreign exchange leakage would be a thing of the past after the central bank moved away from an over-liberalised foreign currency regime to a managed one.
“All exports are acquitted through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, so we know what we have earned from foreign currency. The RBZ Governor has already established a committee to do allocation for that foreign currency giving priority to things like importation of fuel, importation of raw materials and capital goods. Confidence building is the responsibility of all of us, what we say is what builds confidence to external investors,” he said.
Hatfield MP Dr Tapiwa Mashakada (MDC-T), asked if Zimbabwe would get fresh funding given that it cleared its arrears with the International Monetary Fund
Said Minister Chinamasa: “Not yet. As you know, yes we have settled with IMF, the rule is that under the Paris Agreement, we must settle arrears for all the three multilateral institutions, that is IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank. Until we do that, it is too early to talk of any programmes to be funded by IMF or any of the three multilateral agencies.”
“The WB, AFDB and IMF are not a panacea for our economic challenges. The responsibility is on us, to do the right thing so that we create an environment, which is conducive for both domestic and foreign investment. We have to restore discipline in everything that we do.”
Responding to another question, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, said Government had instituted an investigation into telecommunication firms to determine a number of underhand dealings which the State suspected were going on.
One of them, he said, was under-declaration of revenue accruing from calls routed to Zimbabwe, while another was the justification of mobile service tariffs, price of data and disappearance of credits in mobile service balances.
He said the Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe would carry out a thorough investigation and compile a report advising Government on how to deal with some of the mischief.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister Paddy Zhanda said those who abused farming inputs would face criminal prosecution.
Musikavanhu MP Mr Proper Mutseyami (MDC-T), had asked what Government was doing to curb rampant abuse of the inputs that had seen seed and diesel being sold for a song on the black market.
“Every member who has been given inputs under command agriculture should deliver produce to the Grain Marketing Board and if he or she fails, criminal charges will be preferred against that person,” said Deputy Minister Zhanda. Herald