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Govt lift restrictions on the import of basic goods

HARARE — Government has lifted restrictions on imports of basic commodities to individuals with free funds by lowering tariffs with immediate effect to make them affordable in the wake of the recent spate of price hikes in local shops.

Maize farmers will now be paid 30 percent of their deliveries in US dollars and the remainder in local currency.

“To further ensure that citizens have access to affordable basic commodities in the face of recent substantial price increases in the shops, the Government hereby opens up imports of basic commodities by citizens through the lowering import tariffs and other accompanying measures. This is with immediate effect.

“Those with free funds are, with immediate effect, permitted to make use of these funds and other resources to import basic commodities,” Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said in a statement.

He also announced incentives to encourage farmers to make early deliveries of maize and other grains to the Grain Marketing Board.

“Government has taken the decision to pay maize farmers 30 percent of the amount due on grain delivered in United States Dollars and 70 percent in domestic Zimbabwe dollars. The US Dollar payment will be calculated at the prevailing willing-buyer, willing-seller rate published by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on the date of delivery. The payments will be backdated to the date of the first deliveries of this season’s maize to GMB.”

GMB is paying Z$75,000 for a tonne of maize.

“Government has been seized with various initiatives aimed at stabilising the economy, contain inflationary pressures, and therefore to restore the purchasing power of the local currency, with the primary goal being to increase the domestic and external competitiveness of the economy, create and preserve jobs, improve livelihoods whilst limiting damage to the economy, particularly in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and, more recently, the impact of the geo-political tensions in eastern Europe.”