Govt, AfDB sign US$10,4m deal

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© THE African Development Bank (AfDB) yesterday gave Zimbabwe a US$10,4 million grant to improve the country’s domestic resource mobilisation and public sector management systems.
The government will provide an additional US$1,1 million to the grant.
The grant, which would be released under the Tax and Accountability Enhancement Project (TAEP), will benefit the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) (US$8,1 million), the Auditor-General’s office (US$0,566 million) and Parliament (US$2,9 million).
This comes as the International Monetary Fund has said Zimbabwe’s tax and revenue management system does not meet international standards.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the grant protocol agreement in Harare, AfDB country manager Damoni Kitabire said Zimbabwe had to reform its tax administration to boost its chances of recovering from its present economic challenges.
“We are aware that the tax administration and related reforms are at the core of this recovery and as a bank we have been and will continue to support the initiatives in this effort… we will stand with you and support you as you endeavour to revive the economy with progressive market-oriented policies.
“With this support, we urge the government to continue its reform efforts of the macro-economy and in particular efforts aimed at attracting adequate foreign exchange necessary for full restoration of macroeconomic stability and rebuilding of general infrastructure in the country,” Kitabire said.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the project was expected to strengthen transparency and accountability oversight mandates of the three institutions in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
AfDB has in the past supported the government in various initiatives such as debt and public finance management reforms.
Through the project, Zimra is set to switch to a more resourceful and automated tax and revenue management system.
“The new tax system is of critical importance given the challenges that Zimra is facing with the current tax management system.
“This desired system replacement is in line with Zimra’s five-year strategic plan for 2019-2023 to modernise its ICT systems and automate manual processes…,”Zimra commissioner-general Faith Mazani said.

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