Harare (New Ziana) – The government has, with immediate effect, suspended import duty on specified basic commodities for the next six months to cushion citizens against the obtaining price hikes on local goods.
In a statement, Finance and Economic Development permanent secretary George Guvamatanga instructed the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to suspend duty on rice, flour, cooking oil, margarine, salt, sugar, and maize meal.
The other goods include milk powder, infants milk formula, tea, petroleum jelly, toothpaste, bath soap, laundry bars, and washing powder.
“Reference is made to the press statement by the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, where a pronouncement was made regarding introduction of measures aimed at ensuring access to affordable basic commodities, in view of the above, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is hereby authorised to suspend duty on the following products for a period of six months, with effect from 17 May 2022,” he said.
“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is also requested to urgently draft the necessary legal instrument and implement the duty suspension beginning midnight, that is, 17 May 2022, which should coincide with the gazetting of the relevant legislation.
“Furthermore, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is expected to compliment the measure through inclusion of the above goods on the Open General Import Licence.”
Guvamatanga said the government was allowing citizens with access to foreign currency to import cheaper basic commodities for their own use in view of the recent substantial increases in prices of locally manufactured products.
Annual inflation accelerated in April to 96 percent as the local currency further weakened, a development the government blames on economic saboteurs.
The renewed assault on the Zimbabwe dollar-spurred by speculative borrowing- has seen the value local currency drop to trade at anything above ZW$400:USD1 on the parallel market while on the inter-bank market it trades at around ZW$281: USD1.