New Zimbabwe.com

Plastic money too expensive: Mnangagwa

GOVERNMENT is concerned about high transaction rates in the use of plastic money which has resulted in most citizens failing to embrace the concept, vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Monetary authorities have been pushing for use of plastic money to help ease current cash shortages which have seen banks overwhelmed with queues a near-daily feature on the high streets.
Officiating at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) 2017 annual congress in Victoria Falls Wednesday, Mnangagwa implored banks to review transaction charges.
“Our financial sector has been identified as a key strategic partner in financing the economy from being a primary producer to a producer of diversified manufactured products and services,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said industry thrives on a vibrant financial sector which has depositors’ confidence, funds protection, performing loans and reasonable lending rates.
“Although there have been significant strides in the use of plastic money, of late many of our peri urban and rural folk are yet to embrace this mode of transaction,” said the vice president, adding that demand for money continues to increase as shown by long bank queues.
“This cumulative demand for cash will be tamed to zero if the cost of transacting using debit cards is negligible.
“Charges on the use of plastic money are considerably high as compared with those of other countries within the region.
“I therefore urge our banks to consider reviewing these transaction costs downwards,” he said.
There has, however, been cash transactions have dropped by more than 70 percent to about 20 percent, according to ZNCC president Davison Norupiri.
Meanwhile, in a wide-ranging speech, Mnangagwa touched on several issues as he intimated that the country was overwhelmed with inquiries from investors who want to put money into the new Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
The vice president said a number of strategies aimed at turning around the country’s economy, including the amendment of anti-investor laws had been implemented.
“I am happy to announce that ever since the signing into law of the (SEZ) Bill, we have had numerous inquiries from investors who are interested in investing in various sectors of the economy under the SEZs facility,” said VP Mnangagwa.Advertisement

Victoria Falls, Bulawayo and Harare have been identified as the three pilot SEZs.
Government envisages Zimbabwe being a hub for industrialisation, commerce and international trade, with projected growth at 2.3 percent.