On the 21st of October 2020 the Parliament of Zimbabwe held a pre-budget briefing Seminar at the Rainbow Towers Hotel, in Harare. The pre-budget briefing seminar has become one of Parliament’s key activities during the formulation stage of the national budget. It is essential in enlightening Members of Parliament on critical socio-economic issues to look out for in the forthcoming budget as well as setting Parliament’s position in preparation for engagement with the Executive during the pre-budget seminar.
Leading discussion sessions during the seminar this year, include, Professor G. Mugano (Executive Director: Africa Economic Development Strategies) who gave an overview of the current dynamics in the economy. Professor A Chakravarti (Member of the RBZ Monetary Policy Committee) unpacked the monetary and fiscal policy reforms in the Zimbabwe, highlighting the lessons learnt and options for the future. Ms Dorcas Makaza, a gender budgeting specialist touched on ways to enhance gender responsive budgeting systems in the country.
Key recommendations from plenary sessions include:
- The need to place emphasis on an industrial policy which pays attention to sectorial strategies and value chain development models such as leather, cotton, steel and pharmaceutical value chains.
- The need for Parliament to monitor key monetary aggregates and fiscal variables such as deficit, borrowings and the consolidated revenue fund
- The need for Parliament to monitor the enforcement of gender responsive budgeting while ensuring inclusive participation of women and other marginalised groups throughout the entire budget cycle.
Going forward, Parliament will consolidate these recommendations into a position paper which will be presented to the Minister of Finance at the pre-budget seminar, scheduled for the 5th -7th of November 2020. This year, the pre-budget seminar will run under the theme “Shared prosperity: sustainable and inclusive growth towards middle income economy.”