Zim steps up Ease of Doing Business reforms

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Nov 5, 2017 | 1074 views
Tokwe Mukosi Dam

Tokwe Mukosi Dam

Business Editor
ZIMBABWE is now implementing identified Ease of Doing Business reform key interventions as it steps up efforts to improve the business environment to fulfil President Mugabe’s 10-Point Economic Plan announced in 2015 within the broader context of implementing Zim Asset.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of Public Affairs and Knowledge Management in the Office of President and Cabinet, said the key interventions that were being targeted are the full operationalisation of a Credit Registry, the Commercial Courts and the Collateral Registry; enactment of the Movable Property Security Interest Law and the Judicial Laws.

In addition, other key interventions include the Settling Commercial and Other Disputes Bill, enactment of Companies Act Amendment Bill; Insolvency Bill, the Estate Administrators Act Amendment Bill and the Shop Licensing Act Amendment Bill.

The Department added that the latest focus comes after significant progress has been made in the legislative reforms, with the drafting of the various Acts that are at different stages of approval by Parliament.

Some of the acts that are under Parliament considerations are the Deeds Registry Act, Judicial Laws Ease of Settling Commercial Disputes Bill, Shop Licensing Act, Insolvency Act, Movable Property Security Interest Bill and the Estate Administrators and Insolvency Practitioners Act. Others are the Companies Act, Regional Town and Country Planning Act and the Public Procurement Act.

“Administrative milestones include streamlining the building plan approval process, introducing an official website containing information on registering property, promulgation of the Credit Registry, and implementation of the online company name search application system,” said the Department.

It added that once the issues have been dealt with there will be opportunities for very significant improvement of Zimbabwe’s Doing Business which marginally moved in the positive from 61 to 159 on the World Bank’s 2018 global ranking.

“To ensure success of all these reforms, Government has also undertaken a sector-by-sector approach to Ease of Doing Business in order to comprehensively address the most urgent issues affecting the investment and business operating environment in key sectors of the economy comprising; local authorities, tourism, transport, mining and trade facilitation, among others. Key enablers such as National Branding and communication are also being pursued.”

The Department said it was working within various Zim Asset clusters to achieve a number of goals.

Under Value Addition and Beneficiation, the Department said, focus was on gold mobilisation to promote and increase the delivery of gold bullion to Government by small-scale and artisanal miners; cotton to lint to clothing, investment in Ziscosteel operationalising the Small and Medium Scale incubation centres and the establishment of Special Economic Zones, among others.

“Social Security and Poverty Eradication is aiming at providing fully serviced stands, increased access to water and sanitation as well as waste management services and improving the quality of school and health facilities.”

The department said under the Infrastructure and Utilities Cluster, it was looking at increasing the fleet of aircraft, completion of Mabvuku 6 million litre ethanol storage tanks, improving the road network, installing an additional 51 000 pre-paid meters from a current base of 600 000; developing a bankable project document for Tokwe Mukosi mini-hydro power plant and increase the main railway line locomotive fleet, among other goals.

“Food Security and Nutrition Cluster’s goals include increasing capacity utilisation of existing agricultural machinery, increasing number of resettlement permits from 1585 to 2585, improving access to supplementary feeding for children under the age of five years at risk of malnutrition, improving nutritional meals to primary school, developing irrigation infrastructure and increasing local broiler and egg production to 6 million broiler day-old chicks and 3 million dozen table eggs per month.”

The Department added that the Enabler Clusters were concentrating on cross-cutting issues which include mobilising $100 million from the local market to reduce the budget deficit, improving revenue collections to 10 percent above target, improving transparency and accountability of revenue and expenditure.

It was also targeting to establish an Aid Co-ordination Unit, resuscitating destination marketing representation in line with the Look East Policy; establishing mechanisms for coherent communication on Government implementation of programmes and projects, developing robust monitoring and evaluation guidelines, creating a recognisable brand for Zimbabwe, producing a draft national Vision 2040; the Enactment of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill and the launch of nine e-Government flagship projects.

“All these efforts by different Government institutes working with the private sector and development partners are meant to improve the doing business environment in Zimbabwe.”

The Ease of Doing Business reform is a Government-wide and multi-stakeholder initiative embarked on in September 2015 and driven by the Office of the President and Cabinet, as directed by President Mugabe in his 10-Point Economic Plan presented in his State of the Nation Address in August 2015.
The 10-Point Economic Plan is being implemented in the context of implementing Zim Asset.

The programme focuses primarily on improving the business environment for Zimbabwean entrepreneurs as well as laying the foundation to attract sustainable and mutually beneficial Foreign Direct Investment in addition to improving performance of the public sector institutions in delivering quality services to the people and reducing the cost of doing business.

 

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