*HON. MUKUPE: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order, I thought you were standing up for a supplementary question.
HON. MUKUPE: No, I have a new question.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I have not recognised you in that context. I gave you a chance for a supplementary, you were not answered?
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: It is a supplementary question Mr. Speaker. Thank you Hon. Speaker. I appreciate that the Hon. Minister is a lawyer by profession and not an economist. Therefore, he might not have a good grasp of everything that has got to do with financial matters.
However, Hon. Speaker, my question to the Hon. Minister arises out of a report that came from both the IMF and the World Bank. I appreciate that the Hon. Minister and his department have been using some of the borrowings on productive purposes. However, they are noted, I do not even need to list them, issues of fiscal indiscipline that are taking place in the economy. What is Treasury doing to ensure that it reduces those issues of fiscal indiscipline that are negatively affecting the economic growth? I can give a number of examples Hon. Speaker.
For example, in terms of borrowings that are happening for infrastructure development, we are seeing that most of the money being borrowed is escalating – the project funds are actually escalating. Let us say the project figure is given as $500 million, you will find that by the time the project completes, it will be around $800- $900 million and that is fiscal indiscipline. We are seeing a number of losses and leakages of funds as has been highlighted by the audit. We are seeing a lot of unnecessary foreign travels that are happening and a number of Treasury Bills being issued in the market. Those are examples Hon. Speaker …
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order, I think the Minister has covered almost what you are repeating there. – [HON. P. D. SIBANDA: No, he did not cover…] – He did.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: He concentrated on other borrowings. I am speaking specifically to issues that have got to do with fiscal indiscipline. What is the Hon. Minister and Treasury doing to ensure that we reduce fiscal indiscipline so that we can see economic growth again and we reconnect our relationships with IFIs? Thank you.
HON. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I think the Hon. Member needs to be fair on us. If he is alleging fiscal indiscipline, please let us have specific allegations so that I can do justice and respond to it. You can do it through Oral Answers to Questions with Notice or through a motion. I can then specifically respond to a specific allegation and see whether I agree with you or not on whether it is an act of indiscipline. How can I respond to you when you put it in general terms?
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am merely asking the Hon. Member to put the question in writing so that I can go and investigate whether it is an act of fiscal indiscipline or not. The indiscipline I know basically is that there are some businesses that are operating without opening bank accounts. There are also businesses that are transacting business without banking their cash but if you are talking about fiscal indiscipline, please spell it out and I will respond.