By Farai Dauramanzi
As the nation awaits the presentation of the country’s 2015 budget which is expected on Thursday 27 November 2014, many in the informal sector have expressed high hopes on the financial plan.
The country’s 2015 budget will be of interest to many informal workers as they expect the Finance Minister to present a budget that is aligned to the ZIMASSET program which has since identified the informal workers as a major part of the economy.
Some informal workers said they hope the Minister of Finance will present policies that are conducive to the current economic situation. One vendor at Cleveland building in Harare who refused to be named said that the minister of finance should come up with a taxing regime to cater for informal traders.
“I salute the authorities for finally accepting vending as part of the economy under ZIMASSET. However, I expect the minister to address the issue of a taxing regime for informal traders so that they can be formally recognised as economic stakeholders,” said the vendor.
Another informal trader identified as Martin (30) who operates a carpentry shop in Glen-View said that he expects the finance minister to tighten policies on imports to protect the local manufacturers especially those in the informal sector.
“In the past we used to supply our products to big shops in town but, right now most of them are importing from abroad leaving us with little business. So I am expecting the minister to address that challenge by increasing import taxes on most luxury goods which are locally available,” said Martin.
Esther Munemo (45) a cross-border trader from Mbare however, bemoaned the increase in import taxes on certain goods which she said was now putting their profession at risk of collapse. Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa in his mid-term budget review increased taxes on certain imports a measure he said was meant to protect the local industry.
“I expect Minister Chinamasa to consider the plight of cross border traders who are being pushed out of business due to the increase in taxes. Personally, I used to import cooking oil for resale on a small scale but, I have since stopped due to the high taxes,” said Munemo.
Brian Chipomho who runs a garage in the Avenues said that he expects the minister of finance to present a budget that will address the country’s balance of payment deficit to enable the country to have exports greater than imports.
“The budget should provide a framework that gives funding or favourable incentives to those businesses that have been exporting already. We also have to have an excellent way of attracting Foreign Direct Investments,” said Chipomho.
However, there are some who have lost hope in the country’s national budget. A middle aged street hustler in the avenues who was identified as Minnox said that he believes the country has nothing to budget.
“Each year they (government) do their budget but, we never see any change in our lives. So I believe the country does not have anything to budget for because right now nothing is moving. Everything is at a stand-still,” bemoaned Minnox.
Photo credit: www.newsday.co.zw