Zimbabwe coalition government misses growth targets

HARARE – Zimbabwe coalition government has failed to achieve economic targets for the first quarter of 2011, a development which might result in some of the proposed policies being extended.\r\n

Despite a steady growth in agriculture and mining as well as a drop in inflation levels, the first quarter of the year has not been so good and there are fears that efforts to boost economic activities are likely to be derailed.

The country’s failure to achieve economic growth targets has raised concern from stakeholders who are now questioning whether the Ministry of Finance, which is the key instrument in facilitating macro- economic growth, is committed to the growth of industry and commerce.

Finance Minister, Mr Tendai Biti admitted his ministry’s failure to ensure that the set macro-economic targets for the first quarter are achieved, citing limited revenue inflows, subdued performance for industry, a widening trade deficit and the existence of high levels of unemployment.

“We have just failed to achieve the set targets as Government and it is now back to the drawing board,” Minister Biti said.

An Economic Commentator, Mr Luxon Zembe said the government should implement agreed economic policies in line with set targets.

“Policies should be put in place for the benefit of everyone in the country,” said Mr Zembe.

But the Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Dr Samuel Undenge says it is within the interests of the economy that some of the time frame for the targets, which failed to materialise should be extended.

“We believe something to that effect can be done to ensure that all the targets are achieved,” Dr Undenge advised.

The economy is this year projected to register a 9,1% growth up from last year’s 8%.

However, analysts are worried that failure by the fiscal authorities to ensure full swing economic recovery might result in failure to meet growth targets.