Govt gazettes Joint Ventures Bill

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The Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa talks to Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya after the press conference yesterday.

The government has gazetted the Joint Ventures Bill, which seeks to establish a set of rules governing public–private procurement. The Bill seeks to create a Joint Venture Unit within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

BY TARISAI MANDIZHA

A joint venture is a business agreement in which the parties agree to develop, for a finite time, a new entity and new assets by contributing equity.

According to the latest Government Gazette, the Bill seeks to provide for the implementation of joint venture agreements between contracting authorities and counterparties and to establish a set of rules governing the public-private procurement process.

The Government Gazette said the Bill sought to provide for the implementation of joint venture agreements between contracting authorities and counterparties; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

It said the act could be cited as the Joint Ventures Act Chapter 22:22 and would come into operation on the date to be fixed by
the president by a statutory instrument.

“In this Act- in relation to a joint venture project, means that the project complies with both of the following criteria,” reads the Gazette.

“. . . namely that any financial commitment likely to be incurred in connection with the project will result in the least possible impact upon the contracting authorities, existing or future budgetary funds and the cost of delivering a facility or service resulting from the project by the contracting authority does not impose an unreasonable burden on users or consumers of the facility or service.”

According to the Government Gazette, the Joint Venture Unit within the Finance and Economic Development ministry will be under the control and supervision of the permanent secretary.

“The functions of the unit shall be to consider project proposals submitted to it and assess whether or not they are affordable to the contracting authority and provide for the optimum transfer of technical, operational and financial risks to the counterparty and are competitive, and to make recommendations on such proposals to the committee,” reads the statement.

“To examine requests for project proposals to ensure they conform with the approved feasibility studies and to advise government on joint venture projects generally and to develop best practice guidelines in relation to all aspects of joint ventures and to assist the committee to formulate policy in relation to joint venture projects and to develop awareness of joint ventures in Zimbabwe as vehicles for economic development and delivery of public services and to make recommendations on project proposals submitted by contracting authorities to the committee as to whether
to approve or reject project proposals.”