Govt suspends duty on Covid-19 products, redirects 2 % levy towards scourge fighting

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

GOVERNMENT has suspended duty on imported material meant to fight the spread of coronavirus while also redirecting its 2 percent tax levied on electronic transactions towards national programmes meant to combat the scourge.

This was announced in a Monday statement by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.

“In recognition of the significance of the health sector, Government has availed a number of tax incentives for production and importation of essential drugs and health related capital equipment, as well as other medical supplies,” Ncube said.

“Furthermore, in order to enhance preparedness to fight the coronavirus, and also guided by the United Nations Covid-19 Medical Supplies, Treasury further suspends duty and tax on various list of goods and services related to testing, protection, sterilisation, and other medical consumables, among others.

“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority will, with immediate effect, allow duty free importation of the above-mentioned goods, pending gazette of the necessary legal instrument.”

Treasury has also instructed the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) to review its procurement regulations with a view to facilitating the speedy procurement of essential goods and services necessary to curb the Covid-19 menace.

Ncube also announced the 2% Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) meant for social protection and capital development projects will now be channelled towards COVID-19 related mitigatory expenditure.

“Additional resources will constitute some cuts from respective Ministry allocations and details are being worked out.”

“Treasury has issued a Circular of 20 March 2020 instructing line Ministries to identify areas for cuts and areas for redirecting expenditures.”

He went on to say that Treasury has since availed over ZWL$100 million to fight COVID-19 and was ready to attend to further requests on this issue.

Zimbabwe has confirmed seven positive cases of the dreaded disease inside the last 10 days with fears the scourge could spread if no proactive strategies are put in place.