Month: February 2016

Government will Ensure Mining Companies Declare Correct Profits-Chikwanda

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda says government is putting in place various measures to ensure mining companies declare correct profits and pay corresponding taxes.

Mr. Chikwanda says the measures include increasing coverage and scope of audits, recruitment of mining engineers in the tax audit team and increasing capacity for officers through specialized training among others.

Speaking during the questions for Oral answer session in parliament this evening, Mr. Chikwanda revealed that the specialized training will focus on complex things such as transfer pricing and use of copper prices on the London Metal Exchange.

Tobacco forecasted to generate US$700 million

Zimbabwe’s tobacco exports are expected to rake in US$660 million this year, a decline from $867 million a year ago. Government and the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) expect to sell 180 million kilogrammes – a drop from 198,7 million kgs last year – at an average price of US$3,70 per kg. On the overall, production of the golden leaf is projected to decline 9 percent due to the El Nino weather phenomenon which induced drought and floods in Brazil. Consequently, the prices are likely to fluctuate to the advantage of the farmers. The new electronic trading platform is also expected to promote an orderly market, which will reduce collusion and chances of buyers conniving on the reduced price of tobacco. TIMB said a total of 57 492 growers have registered for the 2015/16 season. The 2016 tobacco marketing and selling season, which has been delayed, is likely to open between March 9 and March 16. (Source of the photo: www.eastobacco.com)

Government to ensure exchange rate stability, Chikwanda tells Parliament

GOVERNMENT will continue to ensure stability of the exchange rate by using appropriate fiscal and monetary instruments while maintaining a fine balance between the use of such instruments and growth objectives, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda has said. In ensuring exchange rate stability, Mr Chikwanda said the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has tightened monetary policy and has been selling foreign exchange to the market, which has led to a relative stability of the currency observed since November, 2015. On inflation, Mr Chikwanda attributed the higher inflation, which stood at 21.1 percent in December 2015, to the pass-through effects of the sharp depreciation of the Kwacha in the third quarter of 2015 coupled with the high production costs which were induced by power rationing.

RBZ ups ZSE foreign investors’ limits

In a bid to improve liquidity in the economy, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has increased the threshold of foreign investors overall ownership on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to 49 percent from 40 percent while the single investor limit has been increased to 15 percent from 10 percent. The central bank will also introduce an open tender system in the trading of Government securities. Government is issuing Treasury Bills to fund recurrent expenditure and to pay off state-owned company debts. The move comes after calls for Government to open the TBs to foreign investors who may want to expose themselves to the risk. The Real Time Gross Settlement System platform is also being upgraded to handle other currencies.

6 provinces promising good maize yields-Deputy Minister

DEPUTY Minister of Agriculture Maxas Ng’onga says the country will have good maize yields in six provinces despite the devastating drought that has hit some parts of the country. Mr Ng’onga said in an interview in Lusaka on Monday that good maize yields are expected in Luapula, Central, Northern, Muchinga, Copperbelt and Eastern Provinces. Mr Ng’onga assured farmers that Government has a good plan to ensure that no one starves, including people in drought-prone areas. “Zambians should not panic, nobody will starve or die of hunger. Government will ensure that the food stocks in the country are not sold outside the country,’’ Mr Ng’onga said.  

Mozambique backs grain import plan

The private sector initiative to import two million tonnes of maize for livestock and human consumption by June next year received a major boost as the Mozambican rail and ports authorities guaranteed a 10-day turnaround time and lower tariffs for grain destined for Zimbabwe at a meeting held in the capital yesterday(2/2/2016). This development will ensure improved product availability on the market and will also stabilize the prices. Zimbabwe is one of the first southern African countries that have secured the ports in Maputo for the importation maize and wheat as the private sector moves in to assist Government to alleviate the hunger induced by a drought. Apart from the millers, officials from the NRZ and CFM, the meeting drew stakeholders from major logistics companies, who included Bak Storage, Government and grain importers such as Holbud Limited and PHI Commodities.

Zambia and Angola signs trade deal

Zambia International Investment Forum 2016 Launch: Zambian Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mhango Mwanakatwe delivering her speech ZAMBIA has signed a bilateral trade agreement with Angola to increase trade between the two countries. The trade stands at US$8 million in exports and US$175,000 in imports. The bilateral trade agreement will further exempt some products from customs duty. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe, who signed for the Zambian government, said the agreement is designed to facilitate the expansion of trade between the two countries and further strengthen economic and political ties. She urged Zambian exporters to take advantage of the trade agreement and the Angolan market by ensuring that their goods meet international standards and to work with the Zambia Bureau of Standards. The trade agreement has provided a list of products that will be exempted from custom duty. And the agreement will further compliment other initiatives such as the development of the Lobito Corridor, which is aimed at renewal of the Benguela Railway Line which was commissioned last year.  

Govt in bid to boost investment in Zimbabwe

Government has introduced a number of initiatives to boost investment in Zimbabwe, Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha has said. Officially opening the first-ever Chicken Inn drive-through in Greencroft, Harare in Thursday, Minister Bimha said Government support to private sector initiatives include promotion of contract and corporate farming, rebate of duty on imported capital equipment and Consignment Based Conformity Assessment. The other support includes the establishment of the National Competitive Commission and adoption of internal devaluation by businesses. It is an effort to support both domestic and foreign investors, and the NCC’s major role will be to look at an array of factors affecting the ease of doing business and proffer possible ways of addressing them.