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Public Debt Management Bill gets backing

Economic analysts in Bulawayo have thrown their weight behind the Public Debt Management Bill saying it has the potential of abating the country’s ballooning domestic and external debt if it is passed into law.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development recently concluded conducted public hearings on the Bill.

Bulawayo based commentator Dr Samukele Hadebe says this Bill is all about the country’s development as debt servicing can impose serious growth constraints therefore debt should be managed.

“It is all about the country’s development that all of us have to see changes in our lives and for future generations and we are saying debt servicing poses serious constraints on the country’s growth scenario therefore it must be managed,” said Dr Hadebe.

He said the country should not have a debt that it would fail to re-pay therefore it is imperative that any debt that is accrued should be managed.

“It is also important for all of us to understand why we accrue debts, why we should still get assistance in loans, but we should look at the bigger picture of saying we are trying to develop the country for the benefit of all now and in future.

“If we have that in mind then we can understand why these policy issues arise, why these laws arise and why these institutions are set up,” said Dr Hadebe.

The Public Debt Management Bill seeks to provide for the management of public debt in Zimbabwe.

It also seeks to provide for the functions and administration of the Public Debt Management Office which is a department that currently exists within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Another analyst Butler Tambo says Public Management Bill is a welcome one which should be implemented on a firm ground and should ensure transparency that would culminate in the development of the country.

“It is a welcome Bill and if it is to be implemented very well it has to be set on firm grounding and we can not only get back to a position where we can be allowed to borrow from the international financial institutions but if it is prudently followed we should have transparency in the borrowings of the government as well as the local authority,” said Tambo.

He said this way there would be economic development.

“We can not as a developing country do anything without borrowings. borrowings are a necessary evil but then it has to be done in a manner that is going to develop the country not for individual benefit or for the benefit for a few connected people,” said Tambo.

The Bill also seeks provide for the management of public debt in Zimbabwe, to establish the Public Debt Management Office on a statutory basis and provide for its functions and administration, to provide for the raising, administration and repayment of loans by the State and for the giving of guarantees in respect of certain loans; to amend the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19] (No. 11 of 2009); and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

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