(Last Updated on December 1, 2020 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – Harare based economic analyst, Vince Musewe said the 2021 National Budget that was recently presented by the Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube was not going to bring any significant transformation to the economy due to the economic structure that it is expected to operate in, adding that there was an immediate need to transform the structure of the economy.
“We are not going to get significant transformation of the economy because of this budget. Because is operating within a given structure. What we really need is fundamental transformation of the structure of the economy so that we can create different results,” said Musewe.
Musewe was speaking on Tuesday during an interview on the sidelines of the 2021 National Budget Reflective Meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) at Meikles Hotel in Harare.
He also said the current government had continued on the same trajectory that has characterised the national budget for the last 10 years – a situation where the government simply collects taxes and channel them to fund projects being undertaken by the various ministries.
“Overall there is nothing fantastic about this budget, there is nothing exciting about it. It is just the usual. Take taxes from alcohol, from cigarettes, from the informal sector then you allocate it to the various ministries, particularly Agriculture, Health and Education. That has been the pattern of this budget for the last 10 years,” he said.
Adding that the government was resorting to squeezing the already struggling informal sector sector which desperately needs relief to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“What we need is a fundamental restructure, a fundamental rethink of this economy so that we can create new results,” he added.
Quizzed on the ongoing sanctions debate, he highlighted that sanctions had a negative effect of hindering development because it limited access to the money that is needed to drive development.
However, he also noted that there was need to find internal solutions and leverage our own resources.
“Sanctions are not good for any economy. We want as much money to come into this country as possible. But if that is the case, we then have to re-look and say how can we focus internally and create our local industry so that we can reduce imports…
“We have to securitise and leverage our resources in order to attract private capital,” he added.
The 2021 National Budget symposium was attended by various stakeholders including legislators and private sector players.
The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development, Hon Mhona was also present.