By Alois Vinga
FINANCE Minister, Mthuli Ncube has given civil servants the greenlight to import vehicles without paying duty in a move aimed at placating distressed government workers.
Statutory Instrument 52 of 2019 released Friday indicates that the directive is with effect from January 2019 and will see senior civil servants importing vehicles or taking one out of a bond without payment of duty.
The duty refund shall be granted on a motor vehicle with a maximum import value of US$10 000 being imported by any serving government employee for a period of not less than ten years, the Statutory Instrument shows.
The initiative excludes civil servants in the health sector below the deputy director grade and senior civil servants entitled to condition of service motor vehicles. Only one motor vehicle may be imported within a period of five years.
Under the statute, employees in the grades of deputy to principal directors will be availed between US$20 000 to US$40 000 loans to purchase the vehicles.
For one to qualify, an application letter for consideration has to be written and it must be accompanied by a recommendation letter from the responsible permanent secretary confirming employment, driver’s license, proforma invoice and approval letter from government vehicle repairer the CMED (Pvt) Ltd.
Commenting on the development , Zimbabwe Teachers Association president , Richard Gundani said while the initiative is welcome , there is need to reduce the number of years in service stipulated for one to qualify.
“These are some of the initiatives we have been fighting for on behalf of our members and we are happy that a policy on the benefit now exists on paper. “However, there is need for government to extend the benefit and allow civil servants to start benefitting as soon as they complete their probation,” Gundani said.
He added that the policy will go a long way to motivate and retain critical skills in the country.