Govt committed to price stability

Enacy Mapakame and Africa Moyo
FINANCE and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube says Government is committed to price stability and restoring confidence in the economy as it moves to achieve an upper middle income economy as espoused in Vision 2030.

Prof Ncube says measures have since been put in place to ensure availability of basic commodities at affordable prices while other essential enablers such as fuel are also readily available for economic activity.

In an interview last week, Prof Ncube said the measures were meant to benefit everyone, from the ordinary citizen, to industry and Government.

“In terms of stabilising prices in shops, the initial lifting of SI (Statutory Instrument) 122, which is temporary of course, is designed to increase supply of basic commodities on the market for ordinary people and all of us, and to make sure prices also come down,” said Prof Ncube.

“Government is committed to doing the right thing and bring more confidence in the economy. Together we will succeed.

“We have realised that Government, industry and everyone are all one, we are all Zimbabweans and we are all working together.”

A fortnight ago, Government moved in to indefinitely suspend SI 122 (formerly SI64 of 2016) to plug shortages of basic goods that had been experienced across the country.

Prof Ncube contends that the suspension of SI 122, which allows those with offshore and
free funds to import basic commodities, will result in price stability and elimination of shortages.

Prices of goods recently shot through the roof as they followed the parallel market exchange rate for the United States dollar which went beyond 500 percent at some point.

However, goods are slowly becoming available following the suspension of SI 122, and deliveries of products by some manufacturers that had stopped supplying the local market
preferring to hold on to the goods or sell
abroad.

Meanwhile, Prof Ncube also said the implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) was a priority as this would ensure Zimbabwe achieves Vision 2030 targets.

Vision 2030 entails turning the economy into an upper middle-income earner with a per capita GDP of $3 500.

In light of this, Government is seriously re-engaging the international community, particularly countries and financiers that had slammed the door on Zimbabwe over a range of allegations stemming from the land reform programme.

Yesterday, our sister paper The Sunday Mail reported that Government is working on setting up a star-studded International Advisory Council that will work with President Mnangagwa to address the sanctions issue and the lack of fresh lines of credit from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), among others.

Currently, the country is battling foreign currency shortages, high budget deficit and relatively low business confidence.

Said Prof Ncube: “We are looking, for instance, at the role of external engagement to unlock credit lines for our banks and then for the need for fiscal discipline, to make sure we can reduce our budget deficit.”