MPs grill Chinamasa

HARARE - Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa was yesterday grilled in Parliament over the dire state of the economy, which has seen the desperate government introducing a cocktail of measures that it hopes will salvage the situation.

The simmering public tension spilled into Parliament with MDC legislators interrogating Chinamasa on the recent decision to “ban” the importation of a number of commodities and also the prevailing cash crisis.

MDC lawmaker for Southerton Gift Chimanikire asked Chinamasa whether government’s decision to ban certain commodities would not affect the informal sector, which has become a sanctuary for many.

Chinamasa, however, said the regulations do not ban but rather are control measures meant to ensure that the import bill does not balloon.

“The statutory instrument referred to by the . . . member does not in fact ban importation of commodities, if you read it carefully, it merely removes those items from the open general licence and for you to import those goods, you need to apply for a licence,” Chinamasa said.

“Government remains committed to supporting the informal sector more particularly to help it to access credit . . . currently our challenges with revenue collection arise from the fact that the economy now is highly informalised and it presents problems in terms of revenue collection so our interest as government is to recognise that they are those SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) and to help them establish themselves into formal businesses so that we facilitate the collection of revenue,” said Chinamasa.

MDC Bulawayo Central MP Dorcas Sibanda then asked Chinamasa whether government’s move does not contravene the Sadc protocol on trade.

“If there are any queries, I’m sure those who would have been affected will engage the ministry of Industry and Commerce so that if there is any mistake it can be corrected,” Chinamasa said.

“We were operating in an over liberalised foreign currency exchange market, that has to stop, so that we limit usage of our hard-earned foreign currency to importing only those goods which are critical to the development of the economy, so some of the measures that have been taken are to address the import bill more particularly with respect to goods which are locally produced. A lot of those items which have been removed from open general licence are locally produced and of high quality.

Meanwhile, Chinamasa yesterday bizarrely claimed that banks have “$6,2 billion in deposits”.

“...for your own information there is $6,2 billion deposits,” he snapped in a debate with Kuwadzana MP Nelson Chamisa.

“It is always my rare privilege to educate the . . . member,” Chinamasa said.

Chinamasa had earlier acknowledged that Zimbabwe’s obtaining cash crisis had been precipitated by panic withdrawals and commoditisation of the US dollar.

He said the lack of balance between deposits and withdrawals coupled with the fall of the rand, left the sector between a rock and a hard place.

Comments (7)

which banks? international or local? educate too minister.

mtshayisa - 23 June 2016

chinamasa and zanu pf do not even have clue to the problems zim is facing. FOOLISH LIAR

TIRED - 23 June 2016

Good to know we are well represented in parliament by our mdc mps no to mps vanongonorara ku parliament.

TIRED - 23 June 2016

kkkkkkk vazopererwa zvino

Mugabe haana basa nehupenyu hwe vanhu he is devil - 23 June 2016

ZANU pf yakaora

chivo - 23 June 2016

the thing with all those in power they have never lived in local communities,so they have no clue how ordinary people live in Zimbabwe thus why they are making all these shitty decisions.

Bongani - 24 June 2016

mr speaker is not wiser to invite the business community,then share the idears,rather than contributing business issues with pupil without even have the skills,or pupil with broke businesses.

yahooo - 24 June 2016

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