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Roundup Bulletin No. 37 – 2012
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
November 29, 2012
resumed its sitting on Tuesday 27 November 2012 after a week-long
break since the presentation of the 2013 National Budget
by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Tendai Biti. The break was meant
to allow committees to analyze budget allocations to the sector
ministries they shadow. Both Houses of Parliament unanimously passed
the Budget yesterday.
Debate on the
2013 National Budget in the House of Assembly was led by the Chairman
of Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance, and Investment Promotion,
Hon. Paddy Zhanda. In his report to the House Hon. Zhanda noted
that Members were not given sufficient time to analyze the proposed
2013 budget itself he noted that the country finds itself having
to deal with a US$3.860 billion resource envelope against a number
of requirements and expectations, explicitly expressed by Zimbabweans
when the Committee and the Ministry conducted public consultations
towards the end of October 2012. Hence he argued that greater effort
should be placed on measures to increase the revenue base. He said
that it is only after having achieved a growth of US$8 billion to
US$10 billion budget that the country can start being critical about
the distribution aspects.
He pointed out
that the Minister of finance should put in place agricultural policy
measures that ensure the production cycle is complete by ensuring
that the farmers have easy access to markets and the necessary infrastructure.
Concerning the mining sector he said that there is general consensus
on the mining sector’s great potential to stimulate economic
growth given the projected overall growth of 10.1% in 2012 and 17.1%
in 2013. The Committee urged the Minister to specify the exact measures
that will be taken to promote the sector for example the fiscal
review indicated in the statement.
manufacturing sector, the committee noted that the costs of production
in the country were too high rendering local products uncompetitive
on the local, regional and international markets. Linked to this
issue is the high cost of labour and the inflexible labour laws.
The Committee recommended that the concept of social dialogue be
revisited and implemented in order to find a lasting solution to
highlighted that the committee was concerned about the projected
revenues of $392 million from customs duty which he said did not
reflect in any way the present volume of imports to Zimbabwe. Imports
of vehicles in 2012 alone have exceeded $1.4 billion dollars yet
revenue collected from this item was far below projected figures.
The Committee attributed this to under-declaration of imports or
outright smuggling of goods into the country.
Chairpersons of other Portfolio Committees followed suit and presented
their sectoral reports. The theme that ran across their reports
was inadequate funding to the ministries they shadow. Be that as
it may, their reports did not provide solutions on how the Ministry
of Finance should finance the increased allocations to the ministries
Abolition of Death Penalty
for the abolition of death penalty in Zimbabwe’s penal system
in line with the Resolution of the UN Security Council which rejected
death sentence by the International Tribunal for those convicted
of heinous crimes against humanity in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Senators were debating a motion introduced in the House by the Chairman
of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights, Sen. Misheck Marava.
are set to adjournment today until end of January 2013.
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