Zim laws stifle informal sector, says Zimra

HARARE - Zimbabwean laws are stifling the informal sector, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority boss Gershem Pasi said yesterday.

Speaking at the National Business Council of Zimbabwe (NBCZ) symposium in the capital, Pasi said Zimbabwe’s laws were single-handedly destroying a “promising informal sector”

“We may be preaching empowerment, yet the regulatory framework is killing the informal sector,” he said.

“Tell me why a vendor should pay for a licence from the Local Government before they have started trading?”

Despite Patrick Chinamasa, the Finance minister, admitting that the informal sector was now the dominant force in the national economy, trading laws remained hostile.

Pasi said the national tax collector was in the process of making the trading environment conducive for informal traders, so that they may contribute more to the country’s GDP (gross domestic product).

“We have got a committee working with the Local Government (ministry) and they are looking at areas with decent potential for informal traders,” he said.

“We don’t just want to harvest what the informal traders are making, however we want to be there from the beginning.”

He said the current situation does not make it attractive for informal traders to conduct business as municipal police were always disturbing the informal sector’s various areas of trade.

“Government should protect the informal sector through decent areas of trade and operating systems,” Pasi said.

“As Zimra, we will provide these things for the informal sector because we believe they hold the keys to the country’s future.”


Comments (7)

If you have the mighty to kill the formal sector through tax raids and bank garnishee orders, the informal traders are fly that you will soon squash to death as well. Pasi talk of resuscitating the formal sector by shooting down the indigenisation and empowerment nonsense being peddled by zpf.

gwabu - 15 April 2014

It is easy to resuscitate the formal sector. The formal sector only need a conducive environment to start performing again. We need good and consistent laws, properly run institutions, a good infrastructure and a good macroeconomy as a result of all the other factors and Zimbabwe will be back on its feet again. The plunder of public resources and general lawlessness being promoted by ruling politicians only benefits them in the short term. In the long run, the chickens will come home to roost. It's dangerous to steal public resources and have unfair laws, that's why Gershom Pasi is complaining that he cannot raise money to feed the gargantuan public sector.

Sasikai Deki - 15 April 2014

Few people would remain in the informal sector if the government revisits its policies to attract Foreign Direct Investment. A good number of vendors selling all types of wares on the streets have a decent education, some with degrees. The tax threshold will thus be bigger when we have all sectors of industry functioning well, employing people and paying taxes. You can not tax a person who is surviving on a day by day hand to mouth earning.

Dr Know - 16 April 2014

Mr. Pasi We need to integrate company registration with Tax registration and streamline teh process so that we get contributions to teh fiscus from the lowest possible level. Our local procurement, empowerement and indegenisation laws should also come with a properly defined accreditation and vetting criteria that would facilitate both corporates and SMEs' to participate in the economy. Building this economy is a national not partisan task and we should be able to engage all stakehodlers despite political affiliation and restore the sparkle to our once great economy.

Dumisani - 16 April 2014

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