“For me, when you address the problems that it is trying to address, it is about fiscal issues. Not only is it addressing the fiscal issues, we are saying that when you are looking at all the impediments that are hindering businesses from progressing, they are going to be looking at the import tariffs, at export tariffs and the issues of why petrol and diesel is expensive in this country.
“You have an issue where petrol costs 47 cents and your duties are at 67 cents. So, these are the things that I expect the Commission will not be looking at and saying, what is going to be the impact of saying that if we reduce the duties from 67 cents to 20 cents, what is the positive impact because logistics are going to be lower? It might mean that our exports are going to become more competitive.
“I think that on all the other issues that are also going to be addressed, one of the things that has been happening in this economy is that now we are having a three tier pricing system where people have different prices for bonds, for US Dollars, for making transfers.
“It becomes an issue of that Commission to be also saying for example why are we having these issues? How can we be able to address them? It is clear when you look at the functions that they are going to be monitoring all the cost drivers in the business and economic environment. Right now there is no entity and no one who is monitoring all those cost drivers.”
Mukupe said the Commission was also going to look at the structure of industry.
“Everyone is crying out about all these monopolies and oligopolies that have been set up in our industries.
“You have institutions like Econet who are basically urinating on the foreheads of the citizenry and basically telling them that it is anointed water from Prophet Magaya.
“So, I am expecting that you are going to have a situation where the Commission will be looking at such situations where you have monopolies and oligopolies that are basically raping the citizenry, but we want make sure that they have competitive pricing, and do not end up raping the citizenry.”
HON. MUKUPE: I would want to start by pointing out that having gone through the Bill and having also listened to the public being part of the consultations that were carried out to the public at large, one thing I would like to point is that yes, there were concerns by the public in terms of certain areas and certain things that need beefing up. However, I would want to believe that they are not show stoppers in terms of the things that needed beefing up. I think when you look at the main thrust of the Bill, the key problem statement for our country is that there has been a loss of competitiveness and we have been going down in terms of ease of doing business in this country. So, when you look at Hon. Chinamasa’s budget, I think it was really clear that the problem we are having in the country is that we needed to increase productivity and the revenues of the country. Nevertheless, there is no way we are going to be able to increase the country’s revenue if we do not have a functioning industry. So, our starting point in terms of having a functioning industry is making sure that we look at all the problems that industry is facing. That is where the issue of looking at the pricing and income of all the companies that are operating in industry will have to done.
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