Mozambique’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Max Tonela began his intervention at the Assembly of the Republic by by stating that he would respond to questions regarding the audit of the Central Bank’s accounts, public debt, VAT refunds, and the costs of water, energy, and public transportation.
When asked about of the Central Bank’s accounts audit, Minister Tonela emphasised that the institution is robust and has the authority to oversee financial institutions in accordance with the existing laws and regulations in the country. “This supervision is crucial to ensure the stability of the national financial system and the protection of citizens’ savings” he added.
The Minister also highlighted the importance of making the financial system more transparent and aligned with international best practices. While acknowledging that the International Financial Reporting Standards primarily cater to investors’ needs, he emphasised that the Central Bank’s main objective is to provide price stability and safeguard the national financial system.
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Regarding public debt, Minister Tonela explained that historically, Mozambique has relied on internal and external financing, including the issuance of Treasury Bonds in the domestic market and agreements with multilateral and bilateral financial institutions. The government has a strategy in place to manage public debt prudently, with parameters that ensure borrowing is done at the lowest cost and within reasonable risk levels, while supporting the nation’s development aspirations.
The Minister also addressed the issue of VAT refunds, acknowledging the challenges in processing accumulated refunds. The government is working on revising the regulatory framework to improve the refund mechanism and has already made significant progress in processing a large number of refund requests. Efforts are being made to address the remaining outstanding refunds, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.
When inquired about the costs of energy, water, and public transportation, Tonela stated that electricity prices have not been adjusted for over four years. However, adjustments have been made in water tariffs to cover operation and maintenance costs and ensure the sustainability of the systems. These adjustments also aim to increase access to clean water for more Mozambicans. The government has taken measures to protect low-income households through the maintenance of lower tariffs for domestic water consumption.
In conclusion, Minister Max Tonela’s speech highlighted the government’s commitment to ensuring the stability of the financial system, prudent management of public debt, and addressing challenges related to VAT refunds and the costs of essential services. These efforts are aimed at promoting sustainable economic development and improving the well-being of Mozambican citizens.