Zimra calls for price monitoring

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has urged government to monitor prices of basic consumer goods as part of efforts to protect the local consumer.

This comes as prices of basic consumer products have risen sharply in the last few months despite the current cash crisis and low inflation obtaining in the economy.

In line with this, Zimra chairperson Willia Bonyongwe said government must also seriously look into the mark ups of those who get licences to import goods.

“This is not a call for price control but, all these factors impact negatively on Zimbabwe’s capacity to increase production and exports,” she said, adding that there was just no justification for the current excessive mark ups on imported goods for fertilisers, chemicals and other inputs, equipment even medicines.

“Profiteering is a local disease, for example, following the aborted introduction of value added tax (VAT) through Statutory Instrument 20 of 2017 on selected basic commodities, the prices were never adjusted after it was repealed,” Bonyongwe said.

The high margins are one of the major inflation drivers, she said, currently, most of our goods and services dismally fail the import parity test owing to the huge profit margins.

“There is also need to appreciate the value of the US dollar. If that is left unchecked, all strategies to increase production and exports will not succeed and it would be a case of throwing good money after bad,” the Zimra boss added.

Bonyongwe’s comments come in the wake of rising inflation which stood at 0,21 percent in March, gaining 0,15 percentage points on the February 2017 rate of 0,06 percent, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.

This means that prices as measured by the All Items Consumer Price Index increased by an average of 0,21 percentage points between March 2016 and March 2017.

ZimStats said the year-on-year inflation rate is given by the percentage change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared with the index of the same month in the previous year.

The year-on-year food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation, which is prone to transitory shocks, stood at 1,21 percent whilst the non-food inflation rate was -0,25 percent.

The month-on-month inflation rate in March 2017 was 0,03 percent, shedding 0,58 percentage points on the February 2017 rate of 0,61 percent. This means that prices as measured by the All Items CPI increased at an average rate of 0,03 percent from February 2017 to March 2017.

The month-on-month inflation rate is given by the percentage change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared with the index of the previous month in the current year.

The month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate stood at -0,21 percent in March 2017, shedding 1,78 percentage points on the February 2017 rate of 1,56 percent.

The month-on-month non-food inflation rate stood at 0,15 percent, shedding 0,02 percentage points on the February 2017 rate of 0,17 percent.

Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate broke into positive territory for the first time in 29 months last month after gaining 0,71 percentage points on the January 2017 rate of -0,7 percent to 0,6 percent in February.

Comments (1)

very good madam, start by monitoring the extortionist fuel prices!!!

chirenga - 20 October 2017

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