By Alois Vinga
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Foreign Exchange Auction this week allotted US$37,6 million amid calls by industry for the wider usage of the Zimdollar to spur productivity in the economy.
A trading update released at the close of business Tuesday shows that priority remained tilted towards supporting critical industrial needs.
In the Main Auction, the total number of bids accepted was 413, with a total value accepted US$31,9 million.
Raw materials needs were allotted US$12,9 million, machinery and equipment US7,7 million ,consumables US$2,7 million, services US$2,4 million, retail and distribution US$2,4 million, electricity US$263 817, pharmaceuticals and chemicals US$1,63 million, paper and packaging US$829 371.
The highest bidding rate received during the trades was $155 and a low $138.
A similar allotment trend was sustained on the SMEs Auction platform where total bids accepted US$6,5 million.
Raw materials needs were allotted US$1,6 million, machinery and equipment US$2,3 million, consumables US$978 058, services US$575 063, retail and distribution US$654 488, electricity US$16 436, pharmaceuticals and chemicals US$232 066, paper and packaging US$116 121.
A grand total US$37, 6 million was allotted on the two platforms.
The official exchange rate moved to US$1: $142,42, a development hailed by market watchers as strategic against a background where the parallel market rate has remained stable for some time.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Business, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president, Kurai Matsheza hailed the developments within the economy amid calls for enactment of measures to encourage the wider usage of the Zimdollar.
“We support the government’s position that we must be a Zimdollar economy. This cry for US$ wages payments is unsustainable. We have even been lobbying the government to do away with the payment of taxes in US$ in order to encourage the use of our own currency which is the Zimdollar. This is our position,” he said.
The CZI boss said there is no economy that can work using other people’s currency hence the need to anchor development on the Zimdollar.
“We can’t anchor our development on another currency. You will note that the US$ is a strong currency and in terms of costs if you have hard costs and you want to grow your exports it will be very difficult to penetrate your exports with a hard currency base,” added Matsheza.