More reforms needed – IMF

IMF-headquartersHarare. — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Zimbabwe should put in place a comprehensive economic reform plan to ensure successful transformation of the economy.

The economy continues to face obstacles due to internal and external factors blocking attempts at improving the socio-economic lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.

IMF deputy spokesperson William Murray said more reforms were needed to support the dollarised economy.

“A comprehensive economic transformation plan will be important to ensure the viability of the dollarised Zimbabwean economy,” he said in a statement.

“The authorities need to take action to streamline public sector wages urgently. They also are encouraged to accelerate public enterprise reform, improve public financial management and develop key infrastructure.”

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

Under the SMP, Zimbabwe committed to undertaking reforms such as consolidating its fiscal position so that more resources are allocated towards areas including infrastructure and social spending, clarifying the indigenisation laws and restoring confidence in the financial services sector.

Other measures Zimbabwe is pursuing to assist in growing 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 it has managed to clear arrears owed to the IMF and is now working on clearing those owed to the AfDB and the World Bank to unlock fresh funding.

The lack of access to credit lines over the years has seen many companies closing as costs of production rose against prices of cheap imports from mostly neighbouring SA and abroad as well as obsolete machinery.

Zimbabwe has also committed to improving the ease of doing business to attract foreign direct investment. — New Ziana.

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