HomeNewsMore powers for Zimra boss

More powers for Zimra boss

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Finance minister Tendai Biti has proposed far-reaching reforms that could grant the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner-general powers to access and examine any mining operations as Treasury seeks to plug revenue leakages.

According to a new Finance Bill published last week, the minister is pushing for several changes at Zimra, which includes increasing the current board to eight from five members.

Under this new structure, the secretary of Finance is expected to sit on the board.

The Bill was gazetted last Friday and is expected to be tabled in the House of Assembly today.

The development comes at a time when the future of the Zimra boss Gershem Pasi hangs in the balance.

His term of office expired in October last year.

Zimra, according to the Bill, would be empowered to examine security systems at mining locations, examine and make copies of or take extracts from books, accounts, vouchers, documents, maps, drilling logs or records of any kind.

“In addition, officers of the authority authorised in writing by the commissioner-general are authorised at any time, to enter upon any mining location in Zimbabwe, including premises (other than dwelling houses) or working places situated thereupon for the purposes of inspecting such location, premises or working places and examining prospecting or mining operations or the treatment of minerals being performed or carried out thereon,” reads part of the Bill.

“Taking soil samples or specimens of rocks, ores, concentrates, tailing, or minerals situated upon that area, premises or working places for the purpose of examination or assay.”

In his Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review, Biti criticised the mining sector, which contributes over 50% of total exports, for not contributing much into Treasury coffers.

He said ongoing changes to the Mines and Minerals Act were expected to unlock value in the sector.

“The mining sector, despite being the major export earner, continues to be among the least sources, contributing only 3%,” said Biti last week.

“The long overdue amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act continues to obstruct new exploration and the release of mining claims being held for speculative purposes. The government, through the Ministry of Mines is committed to conclude the amendments of the Act by the end of the year.”

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