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Zimbabwe imports coins, notes from US

by Staff reporter
06 Oct 2011 at 04:53hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has finalised the importation of coins and new bank notes from the United States to alleviate change problems  and soiled notes that have affected consumers in their transactions.

Since the introduction of the multi-currency system in 2009, consumers have been unable to get their change and were forced to buy some small items such as sweets, chocolates and pens due to shortage of coins, while some banks were charging a fee to exchange soiled notes for new ones.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti yesterday told the House of Assembly that Government, through the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, had entered into an agreement with unnamed  US institutions for the supply of new notes and coins.

"Government, through the BAZ, has negotiated with certain institutions in America that I will not name at the moment that will bring not only new notes but also coins.

"The problem we are having now is of transport from Walvis Bay (Namibia) to Zimbabwe because they weigh tonnes and tonnes but it is a problem that we have attended to," Minister Biti said.

The minister said this while responding to a question by Magwegwe legislator Mr Magalela Sibanda (MDC-T) on what Government was doing with retailers and banks that were refusing to accept soiled notes.

Early this year banks were forced to return South African Rand coins after they failed to agree on the exchange rate to use with retailers.

Minister Biti said Government was looking at measures to ensure banks offered reasonable interests on deposits they were holding.

He, however, said most institutions have not been giving any interest on deposits because they had to raise adequate US dollar balances after the change over to the multiple currency system.

Minister Biti said some banks had also borrowed expensive money from loan sharks as they raced to meet capital requirements set by the RBZ.

He took a swipe at the National Social Security Authority for selling money to banks with interest rates as high as 15 percent, forcing the institutions to lend to customers at rates that were also high.

Source - zimpapers

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