'Prices will not go up'

HARARE - Retailers have promised that prices will not be going up as long as government expedites the rebate system which provides tax relief to registered businesses.

This comes after people besieged retail shops engaging in panic buying after retailers opened their doors to the public following three days of closure due to the crippling national strike.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu told the Daily News that government has made commitments to cushion the manufacturers thereby stabilising prices.

“Prices are not going to go up as long as the Finance ministry’s rebate system is efficient and expedient.

“As retailers we have a general consensus, not to increase prices by speculation or arbitrage and government proposed a model which will be presented this week by the Finance ministry permanent secretary (George Guvamatanga), who will explain how the rebate system will function.

“Government has also committed an increase in foreign currency allocation and about $400 million to the manufacturers so it is our hope that many are going to open,” Mutashu said.

As fuel extensively has an effect to pricing in every sector, the price hikes announcement by government caused distraught, hence sparking protests.

In a bid to cripple price hikes government endorsed a rebate system which provides tax relief to registered businesses by doing away with the margin of the fuel price hike through the Value Added Tax (VAT) system.

A survey by this publication showed that most retail shops have maintained prices from last December.

In the capital city’s central business district (CBD) hundreds of shoppers have been thronging supermarkets laying their hands on food and water — ostensibly to avoid being caught unawares — in the event that there are further disturbances.

Thousands who rely on the supermarkets for daily shopping in several towns have remained in the panic mode, escalated by soldiers patrolling and monitoring major cities in the country.

“The panic buying can be attributed to the shut-down but what is required is to build confidence. There has been an environment of uncertainty causing anxiety and most shops were destroyed and most families had run out of supplies in the three days shops were shut.

“Even if prices were to go up, for retailers it will really be a small margin because we don’t solely rely on fuel like those in the transport business where they would increase prices by more than 50 percent.

“Currently we are using stock acquired during the festive season, so our hope is manufacturers will start to restock us with supplies since their opening date on the January 17 2019,” Mutashu added.

Mutashu, however, said that retailers are concerned about some manufacturers who are demanding retailers to use the greenback to purchase stock and this may cause retailers to push the burden to the consumer.


 

Comments (1)

all political parties in zim lacks the potential to lead they are educated but lacks wisdom and knowledge they need to change their policies and come out with better policies what we have in zim is a military regime brutalising the poor and the weak knowing very well Au is a toothless dog mnangagwa someway you keep mugabe its coming to u wait and see they will revolt against you soon

DAVIE - 21 January 2019

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