'Forum to shape 2013 budget'

HARARE - The high-level economic forum on Zimbabwe last week ended on a high note with Finance minister Tendai Biti saying the conference’s resolutions will be factored into the 2013 national budget and other economic policies.

“I can assure you that we will consider everything, because there has to be a departure from the way we have been doing things,” Biti told the forum in Victoria Falls on Thursday.

“We are going to carefully consider all the papers, put them into a consolidated document that will be published and I am going to take it to the Principals in government,” he added.

Major proposals made by a host of experts from the African Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Bank included a relook at the indigenisation policy and bringing in more flexibility to attract foreign direct investment.tion.

The mining sector called for reduction of royalties to allow profitability and competitiveness on the global market while the agriculture stakeholders proposed longer land tenure in order to secure funding.

The sector said government should find capital to allow an all year round agricultural season.

On infrastructure, the conference resolved that while rail, road and air transport were critical to the economy, power development was the major economic driver as the manufacturing sector also depended on the availability of dependable and affordable power to tick.

The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe defended the prevailing bank charges saying they were a mere symptom of the operating challenges in the country’s business environment.


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