We need to add value to exports: Biti

The government needs a full appreciation of its natural resources and is considering carrying out a mineral audit.

Tendai Biti
Tendai Biti

In his 2012 Budget Strategy Paper Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the mining sector should contribute meaningfully to the fiscus, providing resources to fund critical developmental and social service delivery.

“Furthermore, the finite nature of extractive resources, necessitates that communities also benefit from the exploitation of such resources,” said Biti.

“The contribution of the mining sector to the fiscus remains subdued in spite of the firming of mineral prices.”

He said an audit would assist in the evaluation of revenue contribution by the sector, improving issues of transparency and accountability.

Zimbabwe has mainly exported unprocessed primary products over the years, despite benefits that could be derived from increased export earnings and employment as a result of value addition.

“The low level of value addition activities, particularly on the mining and agriculture products, has resulted in the country being unable to realise meaningful benefits from its endowments hence compromising employment creation, foreign exchange earnings and economic growth, among others,” said Biti.

“It will, therefore, be necessary to institute further measures to discourage exportation of raw products that have potential for value addition inside the country.”

He said lessons on treatment of raw chrome exports would be useful as indications were a tonne of raw chrome is sold for under $200 yet it could fetch $1 200 per tonne after beneficiation.

He called for proposals on measures that promote value addition on cotton, diamonds and chrome, among others, for consideration during the budget planning stages.

Post published in: Business
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