By Alois Vinga
FINANCE Minister, Mthuli Ncube is set to launch another economic policy document to succeed the nightmarish Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) which rewound the country’s economic clock to the 2008 period in which incomes were wiped out by record levels of inflation.
The tenure of the unpopular TSP comes to an end in two months’ time.
The benefits or lack of, of TSP remain contested territory between both government and independent thinkers with the former insisting the policy stance brought its own positives.
Under Ncube’s TSP, Zimbabweans saw the return of the local currency, scrapping of fuel and electricity subsidies, among others.
Ncube is adamant the blueprint brought macro-economic stability coupled with ushering in huge investments in the economy.
However, the generality of Zimbabweans feel the reform agenda was a disastrous experiment which took them back to the 2008 economic chaos in which goods and services were beyond the reach of many as wages lost value under the hyperinflationary environment.
Under TSP, locals feel there were job cuts and limited welfare expenditure which saw health and education standards plunge to an all-time low.
But presenting the 2021 Budget Strategy Paper Friday, Ncube announced the TSP will finally dock this December, paving way for the longer-term National Development Strategy which will run between 2021-25.
The document is expected to lift the country towards attainment of Vision 2030 which will transform the country into a middle-income status economy.
“It will consolidate the achievements of TSP as we move towards Vision 2030, for attaining a middle-income status economy.
“The focal areas of the NDS are inclusive growth and macro-stability; food security and nutrition; governance and moving the economy up the value chain and structural transformation among other priorities,” he said.
The policy envisages to achieve a stable macroeconomic environment which facilitates the attainment of key objectives on prices stabilisation, sustainable growth and jobs creation while paying attention on equal and universal access to education and health care, social protection programmes and infrastructure development that covers the entire country including remote areas.
NDS will push for the devolution strategy and use it to build capacity in evaluating the economic potential and performance of each province.
Accordingly, technical support in measuring each region’s GDP and contribution to overall GDP growth will be extended. Such performance measurements promote healthy competition among our various provinces.
Crafted in the spirit that the TSP served as the foundation and basis for deeper reforms, Ncube has on numerous occasions urged Zimbabweans to be patient as he moves to clear decades old economic mess.