GOVERNMENT is yet to amend 22 pieces of legislations in line with efforts to address the ease of doing export business in Zimbabwe under the Rapid Results Approach initiative.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
The rapid result initiative ends on June 14, 2017.
In line with this initiative, the amendments of the legislations seek to address the issues of high cost production and complex procedures and the target is to reduce time and cost of exporting by 50%.
Speaking at the Ease of Doing Export Business Using the Rapid Results Approach Phase Two: 100 Days Mid-term Review Workshop, export regulations thematic working group team leaders Benison Ntini said there were 22 Statutory Instruments (SIs) that needed to be amended, but there are challenges of commitment on implementation of recommendations by relevant authorities.
“We have a nightmare in the procedures and processes and changing those regulations is a nightmare. We have identified 22 regulations that need to be changed. We didn’t come up with the SI, but we suggested the changes. Procedures and processes are a nightmare to deal with regulations,” Ntini said.
“We have identified all the statutory instruments but getting them gazetted it’s not done.”
Some of the SI includes Statutory Instrument 8 of 1996, Statutory Instrument 350 of 1993, Statutory Instrument 140 of 2013, SI 9 of 2004, Section 7, Statutory Instrument 59 of 1997, Statutory Instrument 126 of 2014 among many others needs to be in line with the current trends of doing business.
He said progress on milestones were currently at 82% complete, proposal laws to be amended are 70% complete, deliverables at 78%, processes and procedures to support the reform are currently at 85%.
Export capacity thematic working group leader, Sali Khan said the development partners were willing to provide financial and technical assistance to support exports as long as they engaged on time. He said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) was willing to boost production capacity and extend further finance facilities and export incentives provided evidence-based recommendations were put forward from industry.
“We have engaged and lobby RBZ to prioritise exporters in foreign currency allocations with proposal for introduction of a 25% export retention scheme to cover working capital requirements.
On our engagement with RBZ was good, there were misconceptions held by the industry that banks are not willing to prioritise industry,” Khan said.
He said consultations with exporters were underway for evidence-based proposal for submission to RBZ, to come up with an incentive structure for recommendation, with a view to increase the 5% export incentive up to 10%.
Commenting on the results to date, Khan said progress on milestones was 50% complete, proposals 60% and the progress against targeted goals are at 49%.
ZimTrade chief executive officer, Sithembile Pilime said there were serious commitments made in the first 100 days and the message coming from yesterday’s presentations by the two chairs showed that “we have not made any real progress”.
“I would like to preface my comments by looking at our current trade performance based on the latest figures from ZimStat exports declined by 13,05% when we compare the figure for March 2017 to the January 2017 figure while comparatively, imports increased by 37,56% over the same period and not surprisingly, the trade deficit worsened by 141% over the same period,” Pilime said.
“These trade figures paint a worrisome trend; it is clear that our dire situation demands serious commitment to address the trade regulatory and export capacity issues.”