GOVERNMENT today presents to stakeholders the progress report on the implementation of its five-year economic blueprint, the Medium Term Plan, amid expectations a number of target were missed.Secretary for economic planning and investment promotion, Dr Desire Sibanda had earlier indicated the report would be presented last Thursday, before it was postponed.
There was no explanation. “The Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion is conducting the first annual progress report on the Medium Term Plan,” he said, in a statement last Friday..“The purpose of the MTP first annual review is to track progress on implementation of the Medium Term Plan since its launch in July 2011.”
The report on the five-year national macro-economic blueprint, covering the period 2011-2015, was presented to Cabinet three weeks ago.“The ministry produced an Inaugural Annual MTP Implementation Progress Report, which will be presented at the all-stakeholders MTP Conference in November,” Dr Sibanda had said earlier.
The MTP is the Government’s main economic policy framework for the period 2011-2015 and is designed to influence the National Budget. Through the MTP Government targets to achieve average annual economic growth of 7,1 percent and average annual employment creation rate of at least six percent during the course of the economic plan.
It also envisages a current account deficit of five percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2015, mobilisation of foreign exchange reserves of at least three months cover and double-digit savings and annual investment ratios of 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
It also targets a budget deficit of less than five percent, reducing sovereign debt to 60 percent of GDP by 2015, poverty reduction to meet Millennium Development Goals and a good interest rate regime.“The progress report details what happens in terms of economic performance against targets set in the MTP,” said Dr Sibanda last month.
More than 1 000 delegates, among them senior Government and line ministry officials, representatives of civic society, heads of parastatals and captains of industry are expected to attend the event.
The plan, which requires US$9,3 billion, builds on the short-term Economic Recovery Programme and Three-Year Macro-Economic Policy Framework launched in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The Ministry of Finance crafted these earlier policies.
MTP’s other priorities include macro-economic stability, infrastructure and human-centred development, small-to-medium enterprises, information communication technology, science and technology, good governance, sanctions busting and combating corruption.
Also at the heart of the policy are co-ordination and promotion of investment regulations, optimal natural resource utilisation, poverty reduction, gender mainstreaming, energy infrastructure and rural development. But a cursory look at its targets reveals that the policy is already lagging behind, in terms of a number of its targets, including economic growth, employment creation, poverty reduction, reducing the budget deficit, foreign exchange reserves and debt clearance.
The programmes were premised on expected increase in foreign direct investment and improved economic performance. But limited foreign capital inflows and sluggish economic activity mean the plan is a long way from achieving the US$9,3 billion investment