Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday told Parliament that the recent measures taken by the government o curb imports were not a ban on the imports but merely a way to regularise the imports by requiring that those who wanted to import such products had to have import licences.
“Some of the measures that have been taken are to address the Import Bill, more particularly with respect to goods which are locally produced,” he told the House.
“A lot of those items which have been removed from the open general licence are locally produced. The goods locally produced are of a higher quality and it is for this august House to support our local industry, manufacturers and our local economy. Please support the Buy Zimbabwe Campaign,” he said.
Q & A:
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: The new normal that he referred to was the advent into our economy of informal workers that are engaging in trade within the various sectors and trading in various goods. Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, now bans the importation of the goods that are used by those that are in the formal sector, realising that it includes small items like …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, where are you reading from? Would you please ask a straight question?
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: My question is, what is Government policy as regards the new normal of ensuring that we are providing jobs for those that are in the informal sector who rely on importation of the goods that have been included under Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which now prohibits the importation of those goods for trade within the informal sector?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): The Statutory Instrument referred to by the Hon. Member does not 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. That is what that instrument is about. Government remains committed to supporting the informal sector, more particularly to help it to access credit, skills development and infrastructure for it to be formal.
Currently, our challenges with revenue collection arise from the fact that the economy is highly informalised and it presents problems in terms of revenue collection. So, our interest as Government is to recognise that there are those SMEs and to help them establish themselves into formal businesses so that we facilitate the collection of revenue. I thank you Madam Speaker.
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