Govt takes measures to curtail abuse of subsidised goods

By ZBC Reporter
THE Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Sekai Nzenza met with representatives from the Grain Millers Association, to address concerns and challenges faced in the implementation of the grain maize subsidy scheme. The meeting follows the government’s decision to roll out subsidy to all licenced grain millers.

The minister emphasized the need to ensure that maize will be distributed in an acceptable manner, in a fair and equitable way so that the millers of whatever size, small, medium to large will have access to the subsidy provisions. The subsidy will be given after production and not before.
“Participation in the subsidy scheme requires registration with the Ministry Of Industry And Commerce. The ministry will ensure that registration is done in a timely and effective manner so that the millers can access grain and provide the public with affordable maize meal as per the government’s roll out subsidy scheme,” Dr. Nzenza said.

Dr Nzenza highlighted that there will also be a set of criteria that will need to be verified by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

“Grain milling license and confirmation letters will be issued by the Grain Marketing Board,” she added.

The government is taking these steps in order to address the abuse of subsdised foods by suppliers at the expense of the general public.

In his 2020 budget statement, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube bemoaned these distortions and vowed to address them but “extend targeted subsidies on the production of roller meal, cooking oil and the standard loaf of bread”

“The current subsidy policy whereby government funds the procurement of grain at market price and sell this to registered grain millers at subsidised price has been open to abuse and placed a huge burden on the fiscus. At times the intended beneficiaries do not enjoy the benefits of the subsidy from Government,” Professor Ncube said.