The government is in the process of finalising the establishment of the National Economic Council (NEC) this month amid revelations that negotiators to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) were scrutinising the memorandum formulated by a working committee.
The need to formulate the NEC is one of the key agreements among principals in the GPA expected to give priority to the restoration of economic stability and growth.
Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada said the thinktank was long overdue as it was supposed to have been operational since 2009.
“It has been going forward and backwards because the process of consummating it has been painfully slow,” said Mashakada.
“We wrote a memorandum that is a concept note presented to Cabinet. It was well received at Cabinet but it was referred back to the negotiators in the GPA for fine-tuning before being taken back to Cabinet for final approval.”
“I expect this to be complete by July,” he said.
Mashakada said the NEC board would conduct policy research and advise on policy formulation and implementation.
Government policies, programmes, budgets and the Medium-Term Plan (MTP) would be executed through advisory services provided by the thinktank.
Mashakada said the council would comprise 20 representatives from civil society, government, industry and commerce. It has been established through Article 3 of the GPA.
According to Article 3C of the GPA parties agreed to establish an NEC composed of parties and of the following sectors: manufacturing, agriculture, mining, tourism, commerce, finance, labour, academia and other relevant sectors.
“ . . . That the terms of reference of the council shall include giving advice to government, formulating economic plans and programmes for approval by government and such other functions as are assigned to the council by the government,” reads part of the GPA.
Meanwhile the MTP is due to be launched today by the government. The plan is for five years, 2011/2015, and requires $9 billion for its execution.