By Alois Vinga
CHROME Miners have rejected the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) blanket directive on exporters to use all forex proceeds within 30 days.
Speaking at a Zimbabwe Miners Federation meeting held in Harare this week, players argued that the nature of the mining industry required more planning time going beyond the stipulated timeframe.
Chrome Miners Association representative, Masango Masasa said that the arrangement could cripple the sector in the long run.
“The challenge we are experiencing in our sector is that the mining sector requires long term planning taking two to ten years.
“Being asked to use the foreign currency we receive through exports within thirty days exposes us to risky and impulsive buying as we do not have adequate planning time,” he said.
Masasa said compelling miners to use foreign currency speedily may result in them being short-changed by suppliers because they will not have enough time to first study the market in order to make prudent decisions.
“There is need to separate the chrome mining sector and other associated sectors from the blanket cover of exporters in order to avail due processes to take place comfortably.
“Otherwise this ‘use it within 30 days or lose it’ policy will frustrate productivity,” he said.
In his monetary policy statement last month, central bank governor John Mangudya said export revenue should be used within 30 days, after which the unutilised export receipts will be offloaded into the market at the prevailing market exchange rate.
The move is meant to enhance liquidity within the foreign currency market.
Commenting on the chrome sector’s concerns, RBZ deputy director for Financial Markets, William Manimanzi said there was need to put in place mechanisms that keep foreign currency being released into the economy.
He urged miners to plan ahead in line with their export payment schedules in order to avoid impulse buying.