HomeBusiness DigestGovt bankrupt of recovery plans-ZCTU

Govt bankrupt of recovery plans-ZCTU

Roadwin Chirara

GOVERNMENT does not have a comprehensive strategy for overall economic recovery, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said.

lvetica, sans-serif”>ZCTU chief economist, Dr Godfrey Kanyenze, said the policy framework being used was not clear on dealing with the various sectors of the country’s economy.

“A major criticism of the policy framework is the absence of a comprehensive development strategy as well as other sectoral policies such as industrial, trade, labour, market, agriculture, etc, which the monetary policy should address,” said Kanyenze.

He said continued running of the economy without set targets and goals was detrimental to the government’s recovery programmes.

“As things stand, without clearly spelt out national and sectoral targets, the pursuit of national development is akin to a ship without a rudder in a night without a star,” he said.

He said issues of indigenisation and the country’s industrial policy remained unclear.

Kanyenze said government’s failure to distinguish between its long and short-term goals was a clear indicator of the lack of clarity on its recovery efforts.

“Clearly, there is no medium to long-term development strategy that informs short-term programmes, implying current efforts are fire-fighting,” said Kanyenze.

He said the admission by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono that there was no clear policy framework was likely to impact negatively on the RBZ’s efforts to create a conducive environment for economic turnaround and investment.

“The weakness of implementing the monetary policy in the absence of an overall development and sectoral vision came out clearly during discussions of the governor’s review statement the morning following its release,” he said.

He said a uniform economic policy was meant to provide the country with a strategy to distribute resources equally, while at the same time defining critical areas, a framework which was currently absent.

“A national development strategy could help determine where resources should go, especially those areas deemed critical for development, and also sets the priority areas and the sequencing of policy measures,” said Kanyenze.

H said it was incorrect for the RBZ to imply that the country had developed a home-grown solution to its economic woes when it was failing to provide structures on how to deal with the issues at hand.

The latest criticism of government policy comes after last year’s launch of yet another new economic blueprint dubbed “Towards sustained economic growth — macro-economic framework 2004-2006”.

Under the new economic blueprint, one of government’s main priorities is to reduce inflation to two digits by year-end.

This is not the first time that government has drafted an economic policy document that has not been followed through.

In 1998 it launched the Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation (Zimprest) as a replacement for the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme.

In 2000 it came up with the Millennium Recovery Programme, which was drafted by the Planning Commission.

It never saw the light of day and was soon replaced by the National Economic Revival Programme in 2003.

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