Martin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter
THE 100-Day Rapid Results Action Plan adopted by Government has been a major boost for the economy and will be a cornerstone for turnaround, an industrial lobby group said. “It has been a major success and it is positive for us,” Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Busisa Moyo said. The Government adopted the plan in September last year to support the slowing economy and improve the investment climate.
Zimbabwe had been reeling from years of economic slowdown mainly resulting from a liquidity crunch, declining productivity in key sectors and lack of competitiveness. Some of the milestones achieved under the action plan include reduction in the number of days it takes to register a property from 36 days to 14 days and reducing time taken to pay taxes from 242 hours to 160 hours.
The Government is targeting the first quarter to achieve key reforms that will improve the ease of doing business. Some of the reforms include amending the Companies Act, Shop Licensing Act and the Procurement Act while also aiming to reduce the days it takes to register a business.
Mr Moyo said the bold economic reforms were encouraging and priority should now be placed on implementation. “Government has agreed on a lot of things and we now need action,” he said. Zimbabwe has been struggling to reach its annual Gross Domestic Product growth target of 7,2 percent since 2013, but the policy easing steps are expected to boost confidence.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said with the reforms, Zimbabwe’s ranking on World Bank Ease of Doing Business report was expected to improve. Zimbabwe is ranked 155 out of 189 countries on the ease of doing business report.
Mr Moyo said despite the projected poor agricultural season this year, the economy will witness tremendous transformation supported by various policy measures. Zimbabwe and the entire southern African region is facing the worst drought in 15 years as result of El Nino, a weather condition which causes droughts and severe floods.
Mr Moyo said significant strides in setting the stage for economic transformation have been put in place and priority should be on implementation. “We are really quite positive,” said Mr Moyo. “Of course there are a lot of things; there is clarification on implementation of indigenisation, a framework on Special Economic Zones was put in place and this should put us on firm recovery path.”
Mr Moyo, who is also chief executive of United Refineries Limited, applauded the Government for finally making the indigenisation policy clearer, saying consistent policies were critical for economic growth.