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Friday, March 31, 2023

Zimbabwe removes suspension of duty on basic commodities

By Stanley James, Business Editor

Zimbabwe’s local industry has received a major boost towards growth after the government announced that it will not be extending the import duty-free system on basic commodities.

This was revealed by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube in his ZWL$ 4,2 trillion national budget for 2023, this Thursday.

Presenting the national budget at the New Parliament Building in Mt Hampden, Professor Ncube said it is meant to promote the growth of local industries.

“Mr speaker sir, the government suspended customs duty on basic commodities in order to cushion consumers from unjustified price increases, this measure has contributed to stability in prices of basic commodities, hence the suspension which expired on November 16, 2022 will not be extended,” he said.

In terms of budget allocations, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education received the highest chunk of over ZWL$ 630 billion with the treasury also setting aside ZWL$ 76 billion for the forthcoming harmonised elections.

“Mr Speaker Sir this budget is premised on the need to consolidate gains such that we are optimistic about the allocations that we have done to productive sectors,” said Professor Ncube.

Tax relief packages for the local industry were also unveiled.

“In order to promote the use of the banking system, I propose to align IMTT on foreign currency transactions to the rate applicable to local currency transactions at two percent,” said the Finance Minister.

Other highlights of the national budget include a four percent economic growth forecast, a 10,4 mining sector growth forecast and the reinstatement of the 15 percent rate on VAT.

Revenue collections are anticipated to rise to ZWL$ 1,7 trillion with month-on-month inflation expected to be between one and three percent.

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