HomeNewsBiti to announce lukewarm mid-term policy

Biti to announce lukewarm mid-term policy

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FINANCE minister Tendai Biti says his forthcoming Mid-Term Fiscal Policy statement will not introduce any new measures following the proclamation of the next harmonised election dates by President Robert Mugabe.

Report by Bernard Mpofu

Biti told NewsDay recently that he is currently not sure when he will present the policy statement, which is traditionally presented before the end of June, but the statement is expected to be lukewarm.

The policy statement, which reviews the current budget, comes at a time the economy has contracted by an estimated 3% due to uncertainty surrounding the forthcoming polls.

“I’m not sure when I will present it. I think the proclamation has really changed things. The proclamation has made government a sitting duck. We will present a midterm, but we are not going to make any proposals because once a proclamation is made, it’s a yellow card. I don’t think it’s fair,” the Finance minister said.

“What I will do is to present a mid-term, but the new government must come in and takeover. Like I said in the 2013 budget, it is very important to consolidate the good that Zimbabwe has done in the past four years and we jettison the bad things which is largely too much subordination of our economic trajectory to politics. This business where every jack and Jill is an authority on subjects that they are illiterate on has not helped this country.”

Early this month, Mugabe pronounced July 31 as the election date, but Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has already approached the Constitutional Court seeking an extension following concerns by Sadc on the initial poll date. The move by the regional bloc came after the two MDC formations raised concerns that an early poll without media, electoral and security reforms would be contested.

Zimbabwe has been under a coalition government following the disputed results of the 2008 presidential run-off. Zanu PF and the two MDC parties came together under the Global Political Agreement, which gave birth to the shaky inclusive government.

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