Chinamasa slashes travellers' rebate

HARARE - Government has slashed travellers’ rebate from the current $300 to $200 with effect from January next year, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.

The travellers’ rebate is a duty free allowance granted on goods imported into the country by a traveller once per calendar month. It is granted, provided that goods are properly declared, not for resale or of a commercial nature and the value of goods does not exceed $300.

Addressing delegates at the Zanu PF annual conference in Victoria Falls on Friday, Chinamasa said as part of revenue enhancing measures in 2016 — he was scrapping $100 off the privilege which he said was being abused by informal traders.

“Notwithstanding the noble intention behind the travellers’ rebate to grant relief on travellers’ personal effects, it is, however, being abused by informal traders to import commercial consignments duty free.

“So, as outlined in the budget, we have reviewed it downwards the duty free allowance to $200 per calendar month, in order to complement efforts to resuscitate local industry, with effect from January 1, 2016,” the Treasury chief said.

The minister said the abuse of the rebate had dampened efforts being made by government to revive local industry and safeguard revenue inflows to the fiscus.

This comes as Chinamasa in his mid-term Fiscal Policy Statement scrapped import duty rebates on all locally-available consumables.

Chinamasa also told the conference that government was moving to tighten screws on informal trade taxes, after the introduction of presumptive tax.

Presumptive taxes were introduced in the country in 2005 but were further enforced in 2011 to broaden the revenue base in view of the increasing informal business activities.

Selected sectors of the economy such as restaurants, bottle stores, cottage industries, hair salons and commuter operators were targeted to ensure the participation of informal businesses.

Zimra commissioner-general Gershem Pasi has lately widened the tax net in a desperate bid to rake in more revenue required to fund government’s tottering operations leading to the taxing of struggling vendors across the country.

This is in the wake of the tax collector missing net cumulative revenue collections for the third quarter of the year by nearly nine percent, on the back of most tax heads underperforming due to a weakening economy.

The taxman’s net collections at $878, 2 million were 91, 1 percent of the targeted collections of $964 million.

Comments (17)

Mr. Chinamasa you should be cutting on the travel budget of Vasco da Gama and advise him and wife to seek medical treatment at home. Tell also your President to reduce the bloated cabine and ministries to just 15. Reduce diplomatic missions and staff. Hey why target the poor?

Sabhuku - 15 December 2015

Chinamasa dziite shoma mbanje uone chikepe chauri uburuke nguva ichipo hauone here kuti uri kutiomera nekungokwidza matax to the poor bvisai mugabe anokupai basa risingaiite. Ko bonus makazotii, masoja makazovapa here, ukaon uto robatwa junk woziva kuti zvanyangara asi kungo chengetedz mugabe nedhikondo rake

gumbo - 15 December 2015

Pensioners have been made the sacrificial lambs they haven't been paid their November pensions up to now and noone has come out to give an explanation.

fundi - 15 December 2015

You people are simply sadistic. Why do you find it always necessary to suck dry the ordinary person. If the fiscus or treasury has no money, where did it go. Where did it go???? where? If its about cutting expenditure and raising the revenue base at the same time, then there are lots of measures to be taken, lots. This space is too short to list them. You guys have looted and run to the ground this once promising country. Do us a favour, just pack and go together with your geriatric zombie who is now part of the furniture at state house.

Realist - 15 December 2015

Instead of making the burden light on the shoulders of the masses in a country where unemployment is over 90% the minister starts the new year of 2016 with a harsh measure against the people. Informal trading has become the way of making a living in the political chaos surronding Zimbabweans within the boundaries of their country but it seems the leadership is careless towards the people they are supposed to protect and stand for.Where are the Prophets of God in Zimbabwe Elijah challenged politicians and came out victorious , if the prophets in Zimbabwe are standing for GOD indeed they will not know people have had enough pain and suffering. I watched Mugabe speaking in Egypt to a reporter , the level of arrogance which was displayed there clearly showed me this man believes nothing is able to stand on his path but pride goes before a fall. i dont pray or wish for any of this ZANU PF party people to die but i just say MAy God's Judgement quicken up this yer 2016 upon those who are found guilty before his thrown.In Jesus name

Voice crying in the wilderness - 15 December 2015

Instead of making the burden light on the shoulders of the masses in a country where unemployment is over 90% the minister starts the new year of 2016 with a harsh measure against the people. Informal trading has become the way of making a living in the political chaos surronding Zimbabweans within the boundaries of their country but it seems the leadership is careless towards the people they are supposed to protect and stand for.Where are the Prophets of God in Zimbabwe Elijah challenged politicians and came out victorious , if the prophets in Zimbabwe are standing for GOD indeed they will not know people have had enough pain and suffering. I watched Mugabe speaking in Egypt to a reporter , the level of arrogance which was displayed there clearly showed me this man believes nothing is able to stand on his path but pride goes before a fall. i dont pray or wish for any of this ZANU PF party people to die but i just say MAy God's Judgement quicken up this yer 2016 upon those who are found guilty before his thrown.In Jesus name

Voice crying in the wilderness - 15 December 2015

The Minister should learn to tell the Nation the truth. The reduction of the rebate from $300 to $200 is a tax measure to raise revenue to finance govt expenditures. When the rebate was introduced the exchange rate was probably USD1.00 to Rand 8.00 giving a value of $2400.00 imports duty free. As of now the exchange rate is now USD1.00 to Rand 15.43 giving an import value of $3043.00 duty free. If the rebate had been left at $300.00 it would given a duty free import value of $4543.00. The Minister is now taxing the difference of Rand 1500.00 to raise revenue for the fiscus. Instead of allowing Zimbabwean travelers the benefit of Rand depreciation he is now taxing that benefit.The main reason for the rebate reduction is to raise tax revenue than protection of Zimbabwe industries.

David - 15 December 2015

and what will happen if the Rand picks up? will they revise that? or they keep picking revenue from this poor cow? for how long do they anticipate the rand to be at 15? the rand was at 8 way back in 2007 before the USD regime in Zim.

bob - 15 December 2015

please let mugabe goverment resign before confussion after his death. i foreseen shedding of innocent blood as every one will try his or her lucky to get a living . please advice bob others will revenge on his family until they perish there in zvimba. so bob be warned. i am not in zimbabwe but be warned and learn from mabutosesenko drc and kadafi family until now they are suffering.

moises - 16 December 2015

please let mugabe goverment resign before confussion after his death. i foreseen shedding of innocent blood as every one will try his or her lucky to get a living . please advice bob others will revenge on his family until they perish there in zvimba. so bob be warned. i am not in zimbabwe but be warned and learn from mabutosesenko drc and kadafi family until now they are suffering.

moises - 16 December 2015

please let mugabe goverment resign before confussion after his death. i foreseen shedding of innocent blood as every one will try his or her lucky to get a living . please advice bob others will revenge on his family until they perish there in zvimba. so bob be warned. i am not in zimbabwe but be warned and learn from mabutosesenko drc and kadafi family until now they are suffering.

moises - 16 December 2015

please let mugabe goverment resign before confussion after his death. i foreseen shedding of innocent blood as every one will try his or her lucky to get a living . please advice bob others will revenge on his family until they perish there in zvimba. so bob be warned. i am not in zimbabwe but be warned and learn from mabutosesenko drc and kadafi family until now they are suffering.

moises - 16 December 2015

please let mugabe goverment resign before confussion after his death. i foreseen shedding of innocent blood as every one will try his or her lucky to get a living . please advice bob others will revenge on his family until they perish there in zvimba. so bob be warned. i am not in zimbabwe but be warned and learn from mabutosesenko drc and kadafi family until now they are suffering.

moises - 16 December 2015

please let mugabe goverment resign before confussion after his death. i foreseen shedding of innocent blood as every one will try his or her lucky to get a living . please advice bob others will revenge on his family until they perish there in zvimba. so bob be warned. i am not in zimbabwe but be warned and learn from mabutosesenko drc and kadafi family until now they are suffering.

moises - 16 December 2015

please let mugabe goverment resign before confussion after his death. i foreseen shedding of innocent blood as every one will try his or her lucky to get a living . please advice bob others will revenge on his family until they perish there in zvimba. so bob be warned. i am not in zimbabwe but be warned and learn from mabutosesenko drc and kadafi family until now they are suffering.

moises - 16 December 2015

Mbavha dzatanga, kwanzi munhu akabudirira anonetsa, cut rebate, ZANU is for masses to suffer, thats their slogan, when you hear them say we want to work for the people, they are saying exactly the opposite. Is cutting the people's rebate working for the betterment of the people. Zvino Chinamasa wadzva, hautione kuborder ikoko.

ballista - 16 December 2015

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