Parastatals reform too slow — ministers


Restructuring of loss-making state-owned enterprises and parastatals could face further delays amid reports that there is intra-government discord over the implementation of the policy.

Finance minister Tendai Biti and State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo expressed concern at the slow pace of restructuring entities that continue to drain the fiscus.

“Despite a number of pronouncements to restructure public enterprises, very little progress is being made in this regard,” said Biti.

“Furthermore the inefficiency of these parastatals is also compromising overall economic performance due to the shortcomings associated with under performance in service delivery.”

State Enterpises minister Moyo said there was too much red tape involved in the process as there were various stages the process had to go through before a decision could be passed.

“We are not happy with the pace, it is at snail speed,” said Moyo.

“We are having problems with investors who can invest in our parastatals, as the parastatals have problems of huge debts,” he said.

Moyo said sometimes a solution to a problem is reached but within channels of decision making a new problem crops up and the process has to start all over again.

The country has 78 parastatals that are making huge losses.

In March this year the government approved the State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Bill and the State Enterprises Restructuring Agency Bill that are expected to improve the efficiency of parastatals.

The management Bill will provide a framework to the minister on how to develop a policy framework related to human resources, assets, finance and operations of parastatals.

The agency Bill will ensure that parastatals will practice good corporate governance principles and the parent ministry will monitor the implementation of those principles.