Govt engages banks on bonuses
Harare (New Ziana) – Government says it will engage local banks to ensure the smooth disbursement of civil servants’ annual bonuses which are being paid out in foreign currency.
Government opted to pay civil servants, through their banks, their annual bonuses in foreign currency as part of efforts to further cushion the workers this festive season.
But, banks have reportedly been charging levies while others are arbitrarily liquidating the balances into local currency.
This, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said was against a prior government directive that the bonuses would be withdrawn as hard currency and without any charges.
“Both above practices take away the intended benefits of the Bonus payments and we therefore wish to advise as follows: All civil servants should be allowed to withdraw their bonus payments in full in United States Dollars, subject only to existing daily cash withdrawal limits set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Such bonus payment amounts are to be made in full without deduction or levy,” he said.
“Government and banks will agree a structure for bank charges for these specific amounts which charges must be kept to a minimum. In this regard, Government is appealing to the banks for their usual support and cooperation in ensuring that the payment of civil servants bonuses is implemented smoothly.”
Ncube said the payment of bonuses in forex was meant to further consolidate gains made in reducing inflation from a peak rate of 875 percent in July 2020 to less than 55 percent currently, and was also in recognition of the cyclical nature of annual price hikes as the bonus dates approach.
Meanwhile, Ncube said government would remain seized with efforts to further strengthen the economy.
He said the current macro-fiscal stabilization has been achieved largely through fiscal consolidation and the resultant attainment of both fiscal balance and stabilization of the current account.
“For the better part of the year 2021, government has been seized with various initiatives to continue to stabilize the economy, contain inflationary pressures, and therefore restore the purchasing power of the local currency, with the primary goal being to increase the domestic and external competitiveness of the economy, save and preserve jobs and livelihoods and limit damage to the economy particularly in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Government is grateful for, and fully recognises the sacrifice and co operation of all Zimbabweans in the effort to stabilise the economy, which is now on a firm foundation for growth.”
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