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Forex externalisation probe begins

by Staff reporter
29 Jun 2017 at 06:24hrs | Views
Government has started investigations to identify individuals and companies involved in externalising foreign currency from Zimbabwe and in turn fuelling the current cash crisis, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday.

Zimbabwe is battling an acute cash shortage attributed to several factors chiefly externalisation and low exports. The country's monetary authorities have introduced several measures to curb the cash shortage including closely monitoring the way some companies handle their cash following concerns that big firms, particularly retail businesses were not banking their daily takings.

Responding to a question in the National Assembly, Minister Chinamasa said externalisation continued to play a huge part in the cash challenges the country was facing.

"We are in touch now with the authorities in countries where our money is being externalised. So sooner or later we should have information on who is externalising money," he said.

He encouraged wider use of plastic money and other forms of electronic payment as a substitute for cash. On the budget deficit, Minister Chinamasa denied any fiscal indiscipline on the part of Government.

He said Treasury was in the process of implementing measures to contain expenditure by rationalising the Government workforce and redeployment, for example.

"Some of it (the expenditure) is constitutional. We inherited, through our new Constitution, a very large bureaucracy, a very large Parliament, lots of Commissions, provincial entities. Now all of those need to be funded and it's a Constitutional obligation now when I now seek to fund them it's called fiscal indiscipline, it is not so.

"I am merely meeting a Constitutional obligation that I have to meet Government expenditure and programmes." Admitting to Government borrowing, Minister Chinamasa denied that the funds were being channelled towards consumption alone.

"Yes I do borrow to pay wages but I try to balance what goes to consumption and what goes to physical infrastructure, the House will want to know that the completion of the Tokwe-Mukosi was done from the Budget, from borrowing and a lot of the support that we are giving to the private sector is a result of some of those borrowings," he said.

He cited fast moving goods manufacturer Cairns as one of the beneficiaries of government funding.

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Source - New Ziana.
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