- January 20, 2021
- Posted in NEWS
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has urged the government to ring-fence mineral resource revenue by actively implementing the Sovereign Wealth Fund as one of the measures of boosting safety nets for the vulnerable during disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
ZIMCODD made the call on the back of a positive mining sector performance in 2020, with a growth of 14% compared to 2019, a 12.7 % export upsurge in the same period accounting for 65% total export earnings.
“Expanding the fiscal space to fund a bolder social protection response to COVID-19 without increasing the tax burden on the poor or entrenching heavy indebtedness is a critical challenge for the government. Fiscal space cannot be expanded without adequate policy space.
Zimbabwe is endowed with mineral resources including diamonds, platinum, gold and many others “Bold moves such as implementing the thinking behind the Sovereign Wealth Fund act in order to ring-fence Mineral Revenue under the 12 Billion Mining Industry vision to fund Universal Basic Income are achievable.
“Other possibilities such as the imposition of a Wealth Tax and the removal of harmful corporate
tax incentives could strengthen the fiscal base for the government to fund a more robust social response,” said ZIMCODD.
The tax justice advocacy group said resources announced under various COVID-19 Funds and relief measures have not been accompanied by clear access and distribution mechanisms.
“Greater transparency and accountability around COVID-19 relief funds enhances public trust and participation in collective measures to battle the pandemic,” ZIMCODD said.
The organization further urged the government to prioritize women and young girls as they shoulder a disproportionate burden of the costs of pandemic whilst undertaking the bulk of care-work, child-rearing and food sourcing.
“These barriers can be addressed through a Universal Basic Income approach as well as through the facilitation of women and young girls in decision-making positions. It is therefore a priority to design gender-sensitive programs with mechanisms to ensure that the barriers limiting women and young girl’s access to resources and support are eliminated,” said ZIMCODD.
The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) is a socio-economic justice coalition established in February 2000 to facilitate citizens` involvement in making public policy more pro-people and pro-poor. ZIMCODD views indebtedness, the unfair global trade regime and lack of democratic people-centred economic governance as root causes of the socio-economic crises in Zimbabwe and the world at large.