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The 2012 Mid-Year Policy Review: From crisis to austerity - Getting back to basics
Tendai Biti, Minister of Finance
July 18, 2012

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1. Mr Speaker Sir, Section 103 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe read together with Section 7 of the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19], obliges the Minister responsible for Finance to provide full and transparent accounts before Parliament indicating the current and projected state of the economy, the public resources of Zimbabwe and the fiscal policy of the Government.

2. Consistent with this, I humbly present the 2012 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review, which seeks to update Parliament and the Nation on the fiscal and economic developments during the first half of the year and the outlook to December 2012, together with the necessary interventions.

3. Mr Speaker Sir, let me once again start by acknowledging the support I continue to receive from this August House. In particular, I have benefited from the observations and critique from the Budget, Finance and Investment Portfolio Committee as well as other Portfolio Committees.

4. This support, coupled with that of all other economic agencies, inclusive of the private sector, labour and civic organisations, enhances accountability of public resources as well as efficient and effective implementation of Government programmes.

5. In addition, Mr Speaker Sir, I am grateful for the guidance and support I am getting from the Principals of the Inclusive Government - His Excellency, The President, the Honourable Vice Presidents, the Right Honourable Prime Minister and the Honourable Deputy Prime Ministers.

6. Their vision has facilitated implementation of a number of critical policy measures in our endeavour for economic recovery and development.

7. Allow me also to acknowledge the valuable input I continue to receive from my colleagues - the Honourable Ministers.

8. In addition, I would also like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to all Zimbabweans and Cooperating Partners for their relentless efforts, endeavour and commitment to see a prosperous Zimbabwe.

9. These efforts can only be rewarded through entrenching and deepening the principles of a democratic economy underpinned by stability and the promotion of inclusive growth and development.

10. Mr Speaker Sir, let me also from the outset, point out that the first half of 2012, is a sad balance sheet of unmet targets and policy slippages that has left the economy in an unacceptable state of underperformance.

11. In short, Mr Speaker Sir, both endogenous and exogenous factors have led us to a winter of despair, characterised by low business and investor confidence, some disequilibrium in the economy, little growth in employment, declining social indicators and generally a lackadaisical business-as-usualmentality.

12. All these factors threaten to reverse the nascent shoots of progress made during the last three years.

13. In response, Cabinet convened an urgent Special Session on the 14th of June 2012, wherein fruitful discussions were made on the state of the economy, our omissions and commissions. Accordingly, Cabinet agreed on a number of measures necessary to redirect the economy onto a more sustainable and rapid growth trajectory.

14. This Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review, therefore, outlines some urgent measures and actions, which will guide the economy during the last half of the year.

15. To move forward, we cannot afford to tolerate failure, wallow in an orgy of self-pity nor be apologetic for failure. Neither can we allow ourselves to be diverted by a small clique of misguided and retrogressive individuals in our midst, who thrive on chaos and perceive development, democracy, growth, harmony, trust and stability as an anathema.

16. Mr Speaker Sir, in order to contextualise the challenges and my proposals during the last half of the year, allow me to recall and give an overview of the main thrust of the 2012 National Budget, which I presented to this August House on 24 November 2011.

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