THE Government is setting up a separate foreign currency allocation platform for petroleum companies that sell fuel using the Zimbabwe dollar to increase the number of outlets doing so.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube told Parliament recently that the facility was designed to discourage abuse of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Foreign Currency Auction System.
Already, the Government has invited petroleum companies to register under the scheme, with 57 outlets having been listed.
“There are fuel companies that access foreign currency from the auction then claim that they will sell the fuel in Zimbabwe dollars but then they go on to sell it in US dollars,” said Prof Ncube.
“We are aware of this and we have changed the system.
“What we are doing now is, we have said that any designated companies and service stations that wish to sell fuel in Zimbabwe dollars, and we have carefully chosen these, will be supported through a different system rather than the auction.
“The companies will be supported through letters of credit that are arranged through the Central Bank and National Oil Company (NOIC); that will allow them to access foreign currency through a special facility backed by the letters of credit at the back of which we then sell the fuel in Zimbabwe dollars.”
Fuel prices have been unstable over the last month as a result of global supply gaps caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) chief executive officer Mr Edington Mazambani said 57 outlets have so far been listed under the new facility.
“It is a careful selection process and we are only dealing with those who honestly do business.
“We have outlets that are already selling in domestic currency so what we are doing is to increase the number.”
(The Sunday Mail)