CZI urges Mthuli Ncube to disburse National Budget allocations accordingly

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By Alois Vinga

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has called on Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube to expeditiously disburse all the amounts allocated to ministries in the National Budget accordingly.

The call comes at a time several ministries have in the past bemoaned partial disbursements, sometimes not even adding up to half of the allocated resources.

Speaking during the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers organised 2023 National Budget Review Breakfast Meeting this week, the CZI representative, Victor Boroma urged Ncube to live up to his word in disbursing the funds.

“From an industry point of view one of the things we have noted is that in terms of allocations we may have very good figures but in terms of actual disbursements which happen in 2020 it was around 35% and 40% for 2021 and 2022 respectively.

“We hope that whatever is allocated, disbursements must follow a similar pattern,” he said.

Industry also urged the treasury boss to come up with realistic value addition targets which are measurable at the end of the prescribed cycles.

“When you look at Vision 2030, obviously the priority is anchored on value addition and beneficiation. So as an industry, the expectation is what fiscal policy measures are you going to take in order to incentivise value addition.

“For example, in 2014 and 2015, the government made a deliberate decision to incentivise the value addition of PGM metals. This resulted in the value of exports going up from US$350 million to around US$2,5 billion as of 2021.

“So obviously if we say we want to add nickel or any other commodity, what kind of incentives are going to be extended,” he said.

He said while working on such value addition plans, the government must be ready to swallow the bitter pill of sacrificing and letting go of some of the tax revenues.

While appreciating the move to reduce the IMMT tax on foreign currency transactions from 4% to 2%, CZI warned that lack of proper incentives for businesses to deposit their money is leading to other mechanisms like keeping the money at business premises, in the homes and in the worst case scenario is prompting externalization of foreign currency.

“The level of criminal activity being reported because of cash being stolen from home has increased tremendously. People are storing excess amounts of cash because there are few incentives to bank it. This is a risk because such cash ends up being externalized.

“This could also be prompted by the fact that our exchange control regulations are too tight. There is a need to continue looking at that in order for such money to go into the formal sector,” added Boroma.