In the mining sector, Mr. Speaker, it is my personal view that the new Minister of Mines and Mining Development is probably one of the best Ministers we have ever had in this country and we are looking forward to receiving the first reports from him, but on the fiscal side we have a lot of work to do because from the fiscal perspective, Mr. Speaker Sir, we lumber the mining industry with a great deal of charges and burdens that they should not be carrying, $50 a mega litre of water, for example, when the general cost is $6 is just an example and it goes on.
I understand that a new economic blueprint is being developed and the Committee simply said that what we would like to see is a development plan based on both medium and long term plans for the Government. The last point I want to raise – [HON. MUSHOHWE: Inaudible interjections]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mushohwe.
HON. CROSS: Is the question of the parliamentary budget. I think in terms of the Committees of the House, the parliamentary budget is specifically our Committees’ responsibility. We have examined the parliamentary budgets in many other countries with a similar GDP to ours, countries with a similar size of parliament, Uganda for example. In Uganda the budget for parliament is US$120m a year. Our budget this year of US$57.2m is totally inadequate to make this Parliament work properly – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear. ] – I want to emphasize here Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about Members of Parliament welfare, we are not talking about putting more money in the pockets of Members of Parliament. We are talking about giving Members of Parliament tools with which to do the job for which they are charged with in terms of the Constitution – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Mr. Speaker, we believe that the Minister should agree with Parliament’s request for a budget of US$98m and not a cent less – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Mr. Speaker, the budget is the key instrument for policy under the present dispensation in Zimbabwe. It is the central part of Government’s efforts to make Zimbabwe work. I believe Mr. Speaker that the Minister knows exactly what to do. I believe he has done a great job in his draft budget. I would like to see this Budget applied for the next three months but I would like to ask him to come back to this House in April and do something about the revenue and something dramatic. I thank you Mr. Speaker.