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Finance Bill passed


FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa on Tuesday steered the Finance Bill through the National Assembly despite spirited criticism from opposition parliamentarians to the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement he delivered a fortnight ago.


The Bill, among other things, sought the charging of 5% surcharge tax on mobile phone airtime vouchers, 40% duty on second-hand vehicle imports, 15% withholding tax on foreign artistes and reduction of mining royalties from 7% to 5%.

Chinamasa defended the new raft of taxes as necessary for the economy to survive.

The Finance Bill was passed late in the evening as Zanu PF using its dominant majority in the House was not ready to make concessions to the demands raised by opposition MPs.

The Bill will now be tabled in the Senate starting at the second reading stage.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti blasted the mid-term statement as coming short in redressing disinflation that would soon become a recession, adding that it was cruel for the government to increase taxes on the poor.

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