Mthuli Ncube rules our price controls despite escalating prices- says that would be a disaster

Mthuli Ncube rules our price controls despite escalating prices- says that would be a disaster

You have seen that we have increased interest rates to make it more expensive for the speculators to speculate.  We are implementing other measures going forward to make sure that we reduce the cost of speculation and dampen the arbitrage opportunities that come with that.

On the simple cushioning front through this Parliament, we will be requesting an adjustment in the tax bands as I present the budget next week just to make sure that those who are at the lower levels in terms of salaries can be cushioned through a tax relief.  We are also going to request that Parliament approves an increased social protection budget which covers things be it BEAM, health support for the vulnerable, cash transfers as well.  We will be requesting an increased budget for the support for the vulnerable.  So, we will try to attack this issue from different angles in terms of trying to meet the needs of the vulnerable from the price increases.

One thing that we could not do by the way, is price controls; that would be a disaster.  It never works; we make strategies on the shelves.  I think these kinds of measures that I have outlined are perhaps the best way to go as package of measures.  I thank you.

HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  People who are behind parallel markets are known, what is the Government doing about that? The Minister is aware of those culprits behind parallel market.  I thank you.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Most of the culprits are known, some of them have been arrested.  Certainly, the people are very cunning because they enjoy the proceeds so they continue with what they are doing but they are being arrested.

We have a law SI 127 which is helping us to do what we are doing so that we obey the law.  It is not easy, some come to the auction and we would want to know who is receiving the money.  Some come weekly, so we want to see whether there is no criminality which is happening around there.  We are trying our best so that the law is implemented.

As we speak, it is one of the measures which we have taken that the law should be adhered to.  I thank you.

HON. MARKHAM:  Thank you Hon. Speaker and good afternoon.  Hon. Speaker, I would just like to supplement to the Minister – so long as our incomes are working on the official rate and our expenditure is on the parallel market, we have a serious problem and this is unsolvable until it is policed and enforced.  I do not know why the Ministry cannot push that the monies taken from the auction rate are charged into the system at the rate they were bought because there is no shop in town that is not charging on the parallel rate.  Can the Minister not enforce those companies that are accessing money on the auction rate to acquit their forms at that rate and not the parallel rate?  I thank you.

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