machifs.jpgLegislators have dismissed as politicking Finance Minster Tendai Biti’s statement on the issue of 99 year leases which he said are unbankable documents saying he has a colonial mentality that is bent on reversing the gains of the land reform programme.

The Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement has been received with mixed reactions from legislators who say the Finance Minister, Mr Tendai Biti has failed to adequately address critical issues in the funding of agriculture which is the backbone of the country’s economy.

 

Legislators say the announcement by Minster Biti that the 99-year leases cannot be used as collateral security by banks is indeed retrogressive as the country needs the transformation of the mindset on the part of lending institutions to review their conditions in support of the agriculture sector.

 

Legislators from Zanu PF scoffed at the statement which they said does not hold water but said instead, Mr. Biti should have introduced a policy that compels banks to recognise the leases.

 

Other legislators from MDC-T however said, the budget pronounced very well the need for the reduction of the import bill which accounts for 40% of the revenue saying there is need for the recapitalisation of the manufacturing sector to improve macro-economic stability.

On the allocation to the agricultural sector, the legislators said Mr. Biti should be serious in this regard as there is need to harness more resources and to capacitate the Grain Marketing Board, GMB.

 

According to observers, the Mid-Term Review has done little to address the macro-economic fundamentals critical in promoting economic growth as it has failed to support critical sectors such as agriculture.