Zimbabwe Government has Removed Duty on Basic Commodities
Zimbabwe Government has removed import duty on wheat flour and maize. The duty has been removed in order to protect the citizens from food shortages and rising food prices.
The country is experiencing its worst economic crisis from the past decades. This has marked by shortages of food, medicines, electricity, and fuel. So duty removal of maize and wheat flour means the burden of individuals and corporates has been eased. The exempted duty was pegged at 10 – 25 % depending on kgs of maize or wheat. When removing the duty of these commodities, the government has looked at drought situations that are caused by fewer rainfalls. Therefore the farmers are not able to produce enough maize and wheat.
Regards to that, Zimbabweans are not appreciating it. They want local production that would compete with outside manufacturers. They said the local industry will make the goods to be affordable to everyone. Furthermore, citizens are complaining that selective commodities will leads to arbitrage. They are afraid that businesses will abuse duty-free commodities as they will sell those imports in the forex.
As for now, maize meal is no longer affordable in Zimbabwe caused by soaring inflation that goes up every month. And most people are not employed. Those that are working are underpaid, including civil servants. In this case, only businesses will be able to import duty-free commodities. But 96% of individuals won’t be able to get foreign currency to import.
The citizens have lost hope after President Emerson Mnangagwa has failed to revive the economy as they expected. Instead, the economic crisis has worsened after Mnangagwa has taken over late and former President R.G Mugabe.
Even though it is drought and economic crisis, the citizens are wishing that the government should also remove duty for manufacturing machinery. This will allow Zimbabweans who have moved to other countries in search of green pastures, to come back and industrialize.