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Business talks tough on fiscal policy

The proposal by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) is meant to reinforce calls by economic blueprints to embrace value addition.

 

CZI president, Joseph Kanyekanye said business expected the proposal to be contained in the Mid Term Fiscal Policy Review statement.

Finance minister Tendai Biti is expected to present the midterm policy on July 26.

The value addition must start on products such as cotton and tobacco, CZI said.

“It is wrong socially, ethically and legally to have a situation where you export over 90% of your cotton,” Kanyekanye said.

“The minister must put a scenario where he says ‘this year for unprocessed tobacco, cotton, we will charge a 5% levy on the sale’.

“In year two it will go to 10%, in year three it will go to 30% and in year four it will go to 80%. In year five it will be 100%.”

Value addition is contained in various blueprints unveiled since Independence.

Despite its recognition, nothing has moved along that front and as a result, the country has over the years exported only raw materials.

He said government had instruments such as the Medium Term Plan (MTP) and other various blueprints but is not living the talk.

Kanyekanye added that the absence of value addition had not helped in trimming down the country’s unemployment levels.

“It is painful that a country like ours where we have abundant resour-ces should have unemployed people. We have Cotton Printers in Bulawayo currently under liquidation.

“We have no yarning taking place,” the CZI boss noted.

If government decides not to listen to its proposal, CZI threatened a demonstration.

“The era where business would come in suits and smile to you and say ‘thank you minister’ is gone.

“We are saying government musttake cue from that. We have restless businesspeople out there saying paying lip service to our requests must go,” Kanyekanye said.

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