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Business set conditions over SEZs regulations

BUSINESS says it will only accept labour regulations for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) if they meet certain conditions which include rationalising production and improving competitiveness, businessdigest has learnt.

By Kudzai Kuwaza

A document in possession of businessdigest, which was prepared by Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) executive director John Mufukare (pictured) for the various business organisations titled Draft Business Position on Labour Regulations for the Special Economic Zones, reveals the benchmarks which must be met before business will accept labour regulations governing SEZs.

Emcoz executive director John Mufukare

The objectives, according to the working document, are that the regulations must complement the fiscal incentives in making the country an attractive investment destination, rationalise the cost of production and improve competitiveness.

Other issues, according to the document is to create jobs which will reduce poverty at the household level, increase revenue inflows to government and stimulated aggregate demand and therefore overall economic activity.

“All regulations to be produced must be measured against the above objectives and should only be accepted if they comply,” Mufukare wrote in the document.

Mufukare said the objectives were produced by Emcoz, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the Chamber of Mines.

He urged business, from agriculture, banking, commerce and tourism, to add their input to the final document and added that the input should have reached him by Monday this week.

Contacted on Wednesday to shed further light on the document he had prepared, Mufukare refused to comment.

“ We do not negotiate in the press,” Mufukare said.

The Labour Advisory Committee of the Technical Committee of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum is expected to meet and draw up the necessary labour regulations for the SEZs.

The SEZs Act sets up economic zones where investors are granted special fiscal and legal priviledges to produce for export.

It is expected that the country will gain from improved levels of formal employment as well as technology transfer.

Originally, the Bill had passed parliament and the Senate with Section 56 which stipulated that the Labour Act, (Chapter 28:01) would not apply to the SEZs. This was, however, vetoed by President Robert Mugabe.

In the current SEZ Act, the conditions of service in the zones are determined by regulations promulgated by the Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira.

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