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CEOs mull demo

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Company chief executive officers are mulling a demonstration against government if it fails to implement recommendations by business in the mid-term fiscal policy review expected to be presented by Finance minister Tendai Biti next week.

Addressing a press conference in Harare on Tuesday, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Joseph Kanyekanye said 60% of the country’s Budget was going towards consumption, adding there was need to redirect resources towards development projects.

Kanyekanye said there were sectors that had achieved 100% capacity utilisation hence the need to promote consumption of locally-produced goods.

“My suggestion is where an industry has achieved at least 90% capacity, we need a situation where we reinstate the duty. In the television and fridge sector, I will say let’s do it immediately by the end of July,” said Kanyekanye.

“If it’s not in place the minister risks having CEOs carrying placards. This is how serious it is (going to be), if the government does not act on this. We are peace-loving Zimbabweans. Our industry and our livelihood is under threat. We will march in the street.

“Sustained investment in infrastructure is critical for ongoing economic growth. We recommend the creation of an infrastructure fund that is managed by both the government and private sector. This will have a statutory claim on a certain percentage of government revenue. We recommend that we start with 10%,” he said.

Kanyekanye said there was need for the government to reduce the number of civil servants by 30% as a way of improving their salaries and ensuring improved service delivery.

“CZI feels that given the thrust of the Medium-Term Plan (MTP) and set targets within the MTP, the government needs to set a cap on salaries and wages as a function of gross domestic product. Thus, an improvement in economic performance may directly translate to an increase in salaries and wages for civil servants,” he said.

He urged Biti to use fiscal surpluses being recorded by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for investment in financial instruments and sectors that were doing well.

“This can also be done by creating a pooled revolving fund to the productive sectors starting in August 2011,” he said.

The CZI also recommended to the government to liberalise pension funds to support housing development progammes and fund the revival of distressed companies.

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