Expand fiscal space, EU urges Govt

Philippe-Van-DammeGovernment must adopt a realistic framework with a number of reforms to create budget space to enhance development of all the sectors of the economy, an official has said.

Speaking during a Fiscal Space Policy Dialogue event on Thursday, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Zimbabwe Phillippe Van Damme said the Government has the potential to boost its economy by adopting strategies which can assist the implementation of the Zim Asset.

“Government must opt for structural benchmarks on public procurement and public finance management, which will result in increased expenditure control and better management of the pay roll including the identification of ghosts in the public service and a rationalisation of some ministries and service can help bring the wage bill under control,” he said.

Van Damme said that the commitment to broaden the fiscal basis by improving the contribution of the mining sector in revenue rising and better monitoring of trade flows would prevent further leakages in the system and enhance income.

“Control of expenditure and the reintroduction of parts of the economy and trade flows in the formal sector thereby broadening the fiscal basis on a fair transparent and accountable basis,” he added.

“It is encouraging that the Government has already made some substantial commitments in this sense through the staff monitored programme agreed with the IMF.”

The dialogue was conducted by NGOs, captains of the industry and other stakeholders in the business sector to look for possible ways of creating a fiscal space for business growth and economy recoveries in the country.

Speaking at the same event secretary for Finance and economic Development Willard Manungo said the Government had already begun working on a number of strategies to ensure economic recovery.

“The Government is working on different strategies which include managing and rationalizing the recurrent expenditures, reducing the wage bill and engaging cooperating sector investment.

“Debt resolution is hinged upon effective re-engagement with various creditors including the IMF, World Bank and AFDB,” said Manungo.

He added that the Government has so far paid a token of $4 million to the World Bank as a commitment to continue source funds and work together.

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