$200 million for free pads
By Chengeto Chidi
Government has set aside $ 200 million for provision the of sanitary wear which had become too expensive and inaccessible for young girls and the less privileged.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube speaking during a press briefing said he had made a provision in the 2020 Financial Budget allocating money towards the critical need.
“We have allocated $200 million for provision of free sanitary wear for girls especially in the rural areas,” he said.
According to Ncube government also put in place measures to assist in importation of sanitary wear following the outcry especially in the rural areas about the problem
“We removed duty on importation of sanitary wear products and also raw material for making sanitary wear, ” Ncube said.
The finance minister said he had also ensured that the budget served the interests of the youth by bolstering employment.
“I have never come across a more youth-friendly budget than this one This is a truly people’s budget, youth’s budget,” he said of his presentation.
Ncube said in targeting the youth because they were important to national development.
“We are trying to harness a demographic dividend and this is very important for us to do,” he said.
Government has put on the table a sweetened deal for cooperates to ensure they employ young people.
“We have introduced tax credit incentives where companies will get a rebate for employing a member of the youth for at least 12 months and it should be an additional employee rather than a substitution- we don’t want companies to fire older people then replace with the youth, we shall give you an incentive to add we want you to add, ” he said.
Ncube also set up a are fund aimed at assisting young people to venture into entrepreneurship.
“We also have the Venture Capital Fund which we are going to capitalise to the tune of $100 million, although it cuts across age groups as sectors we will make sure that we reinvest a portion to support start ups mainly by youthful individuals,” Ncube said.