Govt urged to liberalise economy

INDIAN ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rungsung Masakui, has called on the government to liberalise the economy, saying genuine political will to reform and policy consistency would be key in reviving the manufacturing industry.

BY TAFADZWA MUTACHA

Speaking on the sidelines of a Motor Industry Association of Zimbabwe workshop in Victoria Falls, Masakui said the automobile industry in various countries across the globe contributes significantly to the gross domestic product and that local industries should come up with globally competitive technologies.

The ambassador said India had liberalised its economic policies to make the economy more market-service-oriented and to expand the role of private and foreign investment.

Most of these changes were part of conditions laid by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as a pre-condition for a $500 million bail out to the Indian government in December 1991.

“When we open up, we bring in new brands, enhance technology and become competitive. Once you keep the environment protected, it becomes a monopoly in the hands of few people and there in no competitiveness and no introduction of new technologies,” he said.

“So, once you open up, you create the best of industry as various countries and investors come in with new ideas for industry to be able to match with the global stand.”

Masakui added that policy consistency was also vital in the revival of dying industries and that leaders must be held accountable for failing to deliver on their mandate in addressing various economic challenges being faced by the country.

Zimbabwe has, for years, been protecting local manufacturers by imposing punitive duty on imports.

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