THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) is pleading with Government to review the two percent tax on electronic transactions, which it claims is being abused by some unscrupulous entities to destabilise the economy through unjustified pricing.
Speaking at the Matabeleland Retailers and Wholesalers Annual Awards 2018 that were held in Bulawayo on Friday, CZR president, Mr Denford Mutashu, said CZR believes that scrapping the tax will relieve the millions of consumers whose disposable incomes have been eroded by the recent price increases.
“It is our humble submission that the tax be set aside in the 2019 National Budget, to allow economic agents to consolidate around fundamental issues that foster development and economic progress.
“We are encouraging our members to do their best to use fair pricing models to ensure that consumers afford goods and services while bringing long term sustainable value to business,” he said.
The two cents tax per every dollar transaction was recently introduced as part of Government measures to boost revenue generation. It applies to all electronic transactions above $10 and below $500 000.
The awards event was held to recognise and promote retail excellence while offering retail and wholesale enterprises from across the provinces the opportunity to showcase innovation and creativity within their establishments.
Mr Mutashu said the Matabeleland region was an industrial hub with different industries that are involved in various value addition activities. He said the region has been and continues to play a crucial role in supporting the sustainable growth and development of the nation.
Winners at this ceremony had exhibited qualities that have not only helped them achieve their goals, but also bring success to our industry and entire economy at large.
Mr Mutashu said the awards were not just to celebrate the achievements of these winners, but most importantly to give due regard to the values and standards, which the winners exemplify. He said the country’s economy was set for a major uplift, with Cabinet having recently approved implementation of 11 investments projects worth $5,3 billion.
“This requires us to rise to the occasion as retailers and champion retail excellence. These awards therefore reinforce that drive by encouraging the uplifting of professionalism and integrity in our industry.
“The new economic order requires that we rise to the occasion.
“We are also alive to the 2019 national budget that will be announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister on 22 November,” said the CZR president.
He said the CZR had already made their presentation to Treasury, based on the consultations they have made among the membership as well as other retail enterprises that are not members.
Mr Mutashu said they hoped Government would utilise the 2019 national budget to balance the economy and set it on a strong footing to accelerate towards becoming a middle income economy.
“We call on Treasury to deploy effective fiscal tools to speedily stabilise the pricing environment and ensure that adequate resources are allocated to the productive sectors to allow them to retool, acquire critical raw materials and optimise production and competitiveness.
“While we applaud Government for temporarily suspending the SI 122, we also recall upon the monetary authorities to ensure adequate foreign currency is allocated to meet the import requirements,” he said.