By John Nhandara
Government has stepped up efforts to increase the use of the local currency after allowing fifty percent of car import duty to be paid in local currency.
In the latest government gazette, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube announced that half of vehicle import duty will now be paid in local currency at the prevailing official auction rate.
Economists believe the liquidation of import duty to the Zimbabwe dollar will bolster confidence in the use of the local currency.
“This is a very positive development in making sure we gain confidence in our local currency and it will also help stabilise the domestic currency against the black market, a scenario we have witnessed of late,” noted analyst, Zack Murerwa.
Economist Luxon Zembe said, “The capacity and rate at which the Zimbabwe dollar is used also determine the pace in the stability of the local currency. So, there is need to maintain this momentum in the encouragement that government has created.”
The Zimbawe National Chamber of Commerce believes the move was long overdue.
“Giving the public freedom of choice on paying such obligations partially; allowing duties and taxis to be paid in local currency was long overdue and as business we applaud government for that,” commented Tinashe Manzungu, ZNCC President.
Zimbabwe is a huge importer of pre-owned vehicles from countries such as Japan.
Early this year, government announced that miners will pay 50 percent royalties in local currency as part of measures to encourage the wider use of the Zimbabwe dollar.