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Women's Institute for Leadership Development
March 14, 2013
increased excise duty on fuel by 25% with effect from last Saturday.
This is likely to push fuel prices up by at least five cents per
Briefing the media in
Harare, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the increase would see
all fuels going up with petrol excise duty surging to 30 cents per
litre from 25 cents while diesel will be pegged at 25 cents from
20 cents per litre.
recourse from the ordinary tax payer; hence excise duty on diesel
and petrol is being reviewed upwards for the period March-December
2013. This would translate to an increase of 20 % and 25% in excise
duties on diesel and petrol respectively,” said Biti.
On the financial services
sector, Minister Biti said financial institutions should comply
with the recommendations agreed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
and the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.
“RBZ and BAZ signed
a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which provides guidelines for
determination of interest rate margins and bank charges. The MoU
took effect on the 1st of February 2013.We hear a number of banks
have complied though some are yet to comply but when there is gross
indiscipline we are likely to transform to the agreement into a
statutory instrument,” he added.
in excise duty on fuel follows the trend set by South Africa.
While analysts believe the increase of duty on fuel will mean more
revenue to government, it is also believed it will trigger price
increases from across the value-chain.
Residents in Bulawayo
have however expressed concern over the increase of fuel. They said
this will make retailers to increase prices of basic commodities
which are already expensive. “Shops increase prices when fuel
is increased. Now if the government increases fuel prices they are
making life unbearable for us who do not earn much.” Said
Nombuso Ncube, a mother of four.
Other residents however
viewed the increase by government as a move to fundraise for the
upcoming elections. A source who preferred to remain anonymous said
“this is a strategic move by government to fundraise for the
elections. We have been reading in the papers that the government
has to look for funds for the upcoming referendum and subsequent
general election.” He said.
Tendai Biti was quoted in Nehanda radio saying government increased
excise duty on fuel because Zimbabwe had the cheapest prices in
southern Africa. “It has also been unavoidable that government
seeks recourse from the ordinary taxpayer.
Hon. Biti said although government has been able to raise funding
for the immediate needs of the referendum to the tune of $31, 5
million, and allowances for polling agents are yet to be guaranteed.
Election Commission, the body in charge of electoral processes in
the country, had requested $85
million for a referendum and an additional $132 million for
a subsequent general election.
“As a ministry
we consider the $85 million request from ZEC as being too much.
A combination of measures to rationalise payment allowances, containing
the period of activities and personnel requirements to the barest
minimum will reduce next week’s referendum requirements to
under $75 million,” said Biti.
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