Zim moves to scrap travellers' rebates

VICTORIA FALLS - Zimbabwe is considering scrapping travellers’ rebates on basic commodities to boost local industry, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Thursday.

Chinamasa told delegates attending the Buy Zimbabwe Summit that government “had the good mind of making local goods appealing through stiffening the terrain for all locally available imports”.

“We are seriously moving to cut rebates for all locally available goods. Exports are giving locally produced goods a hard time and as government we feel it makes a lot of sense to level the playing field,” he said.

A traveller’s rebate is granted once in a calendar month to a person entering Zimbabwe excluding crew members. It is meant to assist travellers to import goods for their personal use.

The rebate is limited to the value of $300. Goods for resale are not covered by the rebate. Alcoholic beverages that can be cleared under this rebate are limited in quantity.

However, if government implements this move, travellers will be forced to pay duty for all imported locally available commodities.

Meanwhile, Mike Bimha, the country’s Industry minister, echoed Chinamasa’s sentiments.

“There is the open general import licence to control importation of goods that can be sourced locally. We recently carried out a nationwide survey to assess ration of locally produced goods on their shelves and discovered that Zimbabwean products were not even on the shelves,” Bimha said.

The Industry minister said local companies also had to boost their production as sometimes they failed to meet demand, leaving wholesalers with no choice but to import.

“We are really doing all we can for local companies. Rebates for manufacturers have been put in place. This is an incentive for these manufacturers to retool and recapitalise,” he said adding that government had a cocktail of measures to help the county’s manufacturing sector recover.

According to figures from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, the country’s manufacturing sector is currently operating at 36 percent capacity due to the prevailing difficult trading environment characterised by tight liquidity.

Comments (8)

What Chinamasa should ask himself is whether the locally manufactured goods will be affordable to the local market to generate demand that can sustain growth of the local manufacturer. If the manufacturer's final price is unaffordable, then manufacturing locally will not solve any problem. The question is why can't the local manufacturers produce competitive products price wise. Why are people opting for imports and not locally produced goods? What can be done therefore to make sure that imports are priced hire than locally manufactured products. In my view incentivizing the industry in a way to produce highly competitive products in terms of price will discourage imports of similar goods. Chete zvinoda vanhu vanenge vakaita economics dzacho kutungamirira organisations like Treasury, yet we have people with no clue of any single principle of economics. Cry the beloved country.

Ziziharinanyanga - 21 June 2015

Retool and recapitalise? What world are these guys living in? Interest rates are so far through the roof that it is makes no sense to borrow. And if one does borrow, there is seldom electricity to work with other than from a generator which takes the price of production to uncompetitive levels. Sorry but this sort of idea is a total waste of time for all involved.

Matt - 21 June 2015

The minister here is not serious. He wants starving zimbabweans to actually die. Our local companies pricing regime is out of this world already. these manufacturers should be competitive period !!!

mkuweyu - 22 June 2015

chinamasa should go back to the ministry on justice becoz he sucks at finance

Harare - 22 June 2015

Zim Asset yamakapromiswa during campaign for elections. Yasvika zwino. Gore rino tichaonerera.Kana vapedza kumbadzurisa magraduates kune dzimwe nyika zwikashaya basa vava kuzopinda neyokumbadzurisa vanasikana nevakadzi vedu. Ivo nemhuridzavo vanenge vachitevera abroad kuzoreaper varipamahoride. Todyiwa takasvinura sematemba here varume ? Sekuru vangu vakandiudza kuti mazuva avo vachirijaya hazwaiitika izwi. election

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 22 June 2015

Its a surprise that our government is preaching about ZIMASSERT but it is not supporting it. I was shocked to learn that we are still importing other important learning materials like DUSTLESS CHALKS from China and others and yet we have local manufacturers who can even produce the best. What is the Honorable Minister Bimha doing. Revisit your tasks please and try identify locally produced products so that they have the market.Musanyengerwa navabva kure nekuti vachaenda and remember we are not using our own money and they are are taking back slowly. Come 2018, there will be nothing for us Minister Bimha. Regroup products that are locally produced and promote their market locally ndiko kuti mari isaende. once we become sensitive about our products, we will help the economy to grow. Where is Olivine Industries and others. Think again and do what brings food on the table because zvauraya nyika ndizvo zvamurikuita. Others are even contemplating the return of the Zim Dollar but where woukld it take us. Also rationlise marentals edzimba dzekugara nedzekuitira mabasa. Remember others are making millions tax free every month and the government is not getting anything. Pindirai panya idzi so that the GVT has something to smile on. Stay Cool

F Rusinga - 23 June 2015

Scrapping duty rebates will not boost local industry, it will raise extra duty revenue and that is all that the State cares about.

citizen - 25 June 2015

They need to correct a lot of things than piecemeal changes. They just want to force us to buy stuff from their corruptly acquired enterprises. We are working in these companies and not paid for many months. We buy stuff from SA to resell here to survive. Now they want to pull the rug from under our feet, continue forced labour while they reap millions for our sweat. Import duties are imposed to then protect their ill gotten gains. We saw this before. What was The Totota cars scandal about a few decades ago?

Vanotambura - 27 June 2015

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