Govt accused of imposing economic policies

The government has been accused of imposing economic policies without consulting key stakeholders in the economy.

This results in policy failures which have contributed to the bulk of economic challenges facing the country, delegates attending the first ever Zimbabwe Economic Development Conference (ZEDCON) in Victoria Falls said.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development organised the conference
to consult stakeholders on key policy options in preparation for crafting of the 2023 budget in the last quarter.

This is the first time Treasury has consulted economic stakeholders on policy issues
ahead of the national budget crafting, besides the Parliamentary Budget conference that happens every year.

Participants said unpredictable and changing growth and exchange rates have been causing inflation in the country.

Joseph Mverecha from the Agricultural Finance Corporation said policy announcements by Treasury have become shocks to the economy.

“Our policy announcements have become shocks because of inadequate consultation. When a policy becomes a shock to the market there are implications. We are happy we could come up with this conference so that policies can be stakeholder-driven,” he said.

There are calls for restoration of investor confidence in the country’s economy, especially in the banking sector where inconsistent policies have forced people to keep money at home without banking with financial institution. The biggest challenge is lack of deposit rate where people are charged for taking their money to the bank unlike in the old banking system when people were paid interest for depositing their money in the bank.

“The banking system has moved from its fundamental conventional role to being transactional banks and people now keep money at home. Let’s have the deposit interest back so that people can bank,” said a participant.

People want Treasury to consult stakeholders before coming up with a policy, and to be consistent in the policy-making to avoid a situation of having some policies reversed because they would have been ineffective.

Finance deputy minister Clemence Chiduwa said the government had learnt from its mistake hence this particular meeting.

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