By Farai Matiashe
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s embattled government has warned its ministries charging goods and services in United States dollars or equivalent RTGS dollars interbank rate to stop the practice forthwith.
In a statement, the Finance ministry said such a practice was against the prescriptions set by Treasury.
This came after government agencies and a department in the Lands ministry last week indicated that they would be charging their goods and services in US dollars or the prevailing interbank rate.
The US$-RTGS interbank rate is at 5,2, which is less than the parallel black market rate of 7,8 to the US$.
“Treasury notes that government ministries, departments and agencies area demanding payment for goods and or services rendered in foreign currency or the equivalent in RTGS$ at the prevailing interbank rate,” part of the statement by the Finance ministry read.
“It is important to note that Treasury has not approved any charges to the prevailing levels of fees and payment modalities. Thus, government fees, charges and levies remain at the approved RTGS$ that were formally communicated to each ministry, department agency.”
The ministry said they had not authorised such pricing systems and what the ministries were doing was illegal in terms of the law.
“Section 78(1)(r) of the public finance management act (CAP 22:19) empowers Treasury to prescribe or issue instructions or directions to ministries, whether individually or collectively, concerning the determination of any scales of fees, other charges or rates relating to revenue accruing to the consolidated revenue fund,” the statement continued.
The Finance ministry said notwithstanding the current trends where services providers are unliterary reviewing prices of goods and services, government remains committed to the provision of services at cost recovery levels cognisant of the need to ensure affordability and accessibility to the general public.