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Millers not budging on prices

by Staff reporter
13 Dec 2019 at 07:25hrs | Views
THE Grain Millers' Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) says its members are yet to get upfront payment of subsidy funds from Government, a move which will see players in the sector reverting to previous mealie-meal prices.

Following the intervention by President Mnangagwa, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube reversed an earlier decision of removing subsidy on grain, which had prompted millers to increase the price of mealie meal.

Retailers had also responded by passing on the cost to consumers, which saw the commodity price increase to more than $100 for a 10 kilogramme of roller meal from between $50 and $60.

"Reference is made to our agreed subsidy regime arrangement on roller-meal, which you correctly announced to the consuming public last week. "Regrettably Ministry of Finance is yet to make good on its upfront payment of the subsidy funds to millers," reads part of the correspondence by GMAZ president, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara, to Prof Ncube.

"However, as a gesture of goodwill, millers had already started to reduce prices. Unfortunately, our members are financially handicapped to continue selling at the subsidised prices in the absence of the subsidies paid upfront as agreed."

As such, the millers said that unless the said funds were provided quickly, "our members will have no choice but to revert to previous prices".

Prof Ncube could not be reached for comment.  As part of efforts to create social safety nets, Government last month removed import duty on several basic goods.

Cabinet also removed controls on import permits for maize grain, maize meal and wheat flour with immediate effect and placement of wheat flour on the Open General Import Licence.

Other products that were exempted included wheat flour in packages of more than 50kg, whose duty was pegged at 20 percent, while those packages of less than 50kg used to attract 10 percent duty.

Source - chronicle