Zimbabwe govt opens up imports of basic commodities, announces USD for grain deliveries

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Government has opened up 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, while maize farmers will now be paid 30 percent of their deliveries in US dollars and the remainder in local currency, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has announced.

“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,” Prof 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 $75 000 for a tonne of maize.

Government, he added, recognises the sacrifice and cooperation of all Zimbabweans in the ongoing effort to stabilise the economy, which is now on a firm foundation for growth.

“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.”

He said fiscal stabilisation has been achieved largely through fiscal consolidation and the resultant attainment of both fiscal balance and stabilisation of the current account, as well as increased domestic production of goods.