Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
GOVERNMENT has urged companies to embrace the Youth Employment Incentive (YEIT) that will see firms employing youths below 30 years benefiting from tax exemption.
Youths who are a vital cog for the country’s socio- economic development need opportunities to grow in both the private and public sector in line with Vision 2030.
The Second Republic has come up with robust measures contained in Vision 2030, envisaged to transform the country into an upper middle-income economy by ensuring that youths play a key role in developing the economy.
Addressing youths drawn from tertiary institutions in Gweru during a youth symposium organised by the Zanu-PF Midlands province leadership at Mkoba Teachers’ College recently, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said the scheme to reward companies employing youths was first introduced in the 2019 budget and it will be extended.
The minister said some companies were not aware of the initiative hence his call.
“One of the things that was introduced by the Second Republic in the 2019 budget and we will keep it going is basically a Youth Employment Incentive which is a youth employment tax exemption to say that companies that can employ the youths receive a tax rebate, tax credit for employing youths.
I hope they are aware of this because each time I ask them they look blank. But it’s something they need to take advantage of because we want to improve the employment of the youths in both the private and public sector,” he said.
Prof Ncube said Government through YEIT is incentivising companies to employ the youths for economic growth. He bemoaned that few companies were taking advantage of this incentive hence few companies were prioritising employing youths.
“We are incentivising the companies so that they employ the youth. We call upon companies to embrace this and employ the youths.
We want to include people living with disabilities in this package so that companies are also encouraged to employ people with disabilities.
Some of the youths have requested that we remove the duty for raw materials imported by companies that are owned by youths. We are still thinking about it,” he said.
Prof Ncube said there were an array of opportunities for youths that were being promoted by the Second Republic.
“In the area of economic growth as a pillar, we are providing credit for projects for the youths through empower bank through the Women’s Bank, but also through the national venture fund. One challenge is collateral, youths don’t have that and that is why we have the national venture fund that takes equity, so that the youths don’t pay interest. Access to credit is also key and we will continue to improve on that,” he said.
President Mnangagwa, Prof Ncube said, has directed that youths should be given land in areas they live.
“We will support that as a Government so that you access resources such as land and engae in agriculture as a business rather than as a social event or hobby.
Our approach as Government is that of farm to fork, we support agriculture right through the value chain from production up to the point of delivery to Grain Marketing Board (GMB) until it reaches the people’s houses,” he said.
“We are looking for youthful members to join corporate boards. I want to receive CVs for those who think that they can make it into these corporate boards, those who think they qualify to sit on boards of parastatals so that we infuse that energy and change perspective of some of our boards,” he said.
Prof Ncube said in economics there is a demographic dividend that lies in the youths that can be harnessed to develop the country.
“At the moment 54 percent of our population in Zimbabwe is under the age of 20. And 63 percent of the population is below the age of 24. That’s a lot of people and so the majority of our population is the youth.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) national president Mr Kurai Matsheza said industry was working on creating jobs for the country.
“The creation of new jobs is premised on wider issues such as raising of capital and creating conducive business environment allowing companies to expand thereby creating new jobs.
At the moment most businesses are struggling with survival and therefore are not expanding. The incentive being offered by Government is very welcome and most companies would defintely take advantage of this incentives once they create new jobs,” he said.
Article Source: The Chronicle