HomeLocal NewsGovt to scrap surtax in July

Govt to scrap surtax in July

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Finance minister Tendai Biti yesterday admitted that government blundered when it introduced surtax on basic commodities like groceries and clothing and promised to reverse the arrangement by July.

Last year, Biti introduced surtax of 25% on a number of foodstuffs, raw materials and clothes, in a bid to protect the local industry.

But yesterday he told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion the move was miscalculated.

“The position we took on surtax was wrong and we will do something in July,” said the minister.

Biti also said it was unacceptable for the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to conduct body searches on travellers at Beitbridge border post, in particular, in a bid to charge them for everything they brought into the country.

“We don’t accept what Zimra is doing, it’s malicious fascism and it’s not acceptable, the issue to ban rebate doesn’t mean harass our people,” he said. The minister added that Zimra was being over-ambitious.

“We have written a letter to Zimra,” Biti said.

“They have to know customs administration is risk business and one out of 10 people can be accessed and there is no way the country can have a system that can search every item that people are carrying.”

He said the country’s manufacturing sector was underperforming and Zimbabwe largely depended on imports with 56% coming from South Africa.

“We don’t have perfume manufacturing in Zimbabwe and to put a tax on perfume was putting a tax on a woman who is trying to look good,” he said.

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