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Bankers endorse central bank currency auction

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BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
BANKERS have endorsed government’s foreign currency auction system, describing it as transparent given the prevailing economic situation.

Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance chaired by Matthew Nyashanu yesterday, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) chairperson Farnwell Mutogo said: “The auction system brings transparency and efficiency in the allocation of scarce resources like foreign currency, which is a limited resource. We, therefore, need to manage it from a central position for equitable distribution.

“Priority in allotment of foreign currency is given to productive sectors of the economy.  The auction system has been the main source of foreign currency supply since its introduction in 2020 and the system is working for the economy.”

Mutogo added: “However, we do have a backlog, but from our position, the current backlog is on a reducing trend and the central bank is committed to reducing this backlog by end of June this year. From our point of view, the auction system is the best we can have given the current environment.”

Nedbank head of treasury, Latifa Kassim said due to foreign currency scarcity, the auction system was the best way out.

In an unrelated matter, Mines ministry secretary Onesimo Moyo was yesterday grilled by legislators over delays in amending the archaic Mines and Minerals Act.

Moyo said some of the delays emanated from processes associated with completion of the Bill by the drafters.

“We got the final draft from the Attorney-General’s (AG) Office, and the direction we got was that they (Executive) would like it to go to the Cabinet committee on legislation first, then to Cabinet, after which it will be released to the Mines committee,” he responded.

He said it was likely to go before Cabinet on June 30, adding that it would be tabled in Parliament depending on outcomes at the Cabinet committee on legislation.

Moyo said drafting by the AG’s Office also took long.

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