Public Debt Management Bill, 2015



The Bill seeks to provide for the management of public debt in Zimbabwe. It also seeks to provide for the functions and administration of the Public Debt Management Office which is a department that currently exists within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

To provide for the management of public debt in Zimbabwe; to establish the Public Debt Management Office on a statutory basis and provide for its functions and administration; to provide for the raising, administration and repayment of loans by the State and for the giving of guarantees in respect of certain loans; to amend the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19] (No. 11 of 2009); and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

The individual clauses of the Bill are explained below:

Clause 1
This clause sets out the short title of the Bill.

Clause 2
This clause provides for certain definitions of terms used in the Bill. Of particular note is the definition of "public debt" which includes local authority and parastatal debt as well as Government debt.

Clause 3
This clause contains a statement of the objectives of public debt management objectives.

Clauses 4, 5 and 6
These clauses provide for the Public Debt Management Office, its functions and powers, as well as the Principal Director and staff of the Office.

Clause 7
This clause provides for the Debt Management Committee and its functions, namely to make recommendations to the Minister on debt management policy and strategy, among other functions. The Public Debt Management Office will act as the Secretariat to this Committee.

Clause 8
This clause provides for the Medium Term Debt Strategy.

Clauses 9 and 10
These clauses provides for responsibility or the Office to assist the Minister in implementing Part III ("Loans, Guarantees and Other Commitments") as well as definitions of terms used in this Part.

Clause 11
This clause provides for the borrowing powers and limit.

Clauses 12. 13, 14 and 15
These clauses provide for purposes for which the Minister may borrow money, the manner of raising State loans, proceeds of State loans, certain State loans exempt from tax and repayment of State loans.

Clauses 16, 17, 18 and 19
These clauses provide for security of State loans and guarantees, signing of loan agreements, repayment, conversion and consolidation of loans.

Clauses 20 and 21
These clauses provide for the power to give guarantees and payments in connection with guarantees.

Clauses 22 and 23
These clauses provide for loans to designated corporate bodies and borrowings made by Local Authorisation and Public Entities.

Clauses 24 and 25
These clauses provide for the restrictions on borrowing and consequences of unauthorised transactions.

Clause 26
This clause provides the Minister to be exempt from certain obligations such as regards the due fulfilment or a trust.

Clause 27
This clause provides for the registrar to make necessary entries to give effect to court orders.

Clause 28
This clause provides for forgery of securities.

Clauses 29 and 30
These clauses provide for the powers of Minister such as establishing registries for the registration of bonds or stock among others, and also provides for the disclosure of information concerning loans and guarantees.

Clauses 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36
These clauses provide for annual, monthly and quarterly reports concerning loans and guarantees; interest and repayment of loans to be direct charges, establishment of sinking funds, trustees of sinking funds, payment into sinking funds and application of moneys in sinking funds.

Clause 37
This clause provides for the process of reporting to Parliament.

Clause 38
This clause provides for the audit of the Office.

Clauses 39 and 40
These clauses provide for regulations that can be made in relation to debt issuance and management, and as well as amendment Lo the Public Finance Management Act.

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