By Ngoni Clayton Marutsi
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says the temporary lift of the SI 122 of 2017 ban that allows people to import basic commodities into the country is not a solution to the foreign currency shortages but it will further worsen forex shortages.
The CZI President Jabangwe said, “Government’s decision to indefinitely suspend Statutory Instrument (SI) 122 of 2017 was not well thought out because it does not address challenges faced by local industries”.
“Foreign currency required by local companies to produce same volumes basic commodities is less than that which is required to import finished products. So if both require foreign currency, how do you solve the problem by bringing in something that requires more foreign currency? What we now have is greater demand for foreign currency and that will push the rate higher and the prices even higher,” he added.
An Economist who refused to be named said, “the problem is not SI 122 of 2017 but the shortage of foreign currency and soon the few foreign currency notes in circulation will be taken out of the country due to the removal of import restrictions that allow individuals and companies to import commodities that are in short supply”
Members of the public have also raised concerns over the move by government saying it can lead to disaster for them especially difficulties to control prices of imported commodities and the ones produced in Zimbabwe.
Acting Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Nzenza said, “the decision was meant to alleviate the plight of ordinary consumers and government will remain committed to increase productivity in the local industry”.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Ncube also added “Government’s decision was aimed at improving the supply of commodities and make sure there is food on the table”.
Government last week announced the temporary removal of Statutory Instrument (SI) 122 of 2017 to allow companies and individuals to import commodities which are in short supply.