Govt sticks to March 31 indigenisation deadline

Minister Patrick Zhuwao

Minister Patrick Zhuwao

Tinashe Makichi : Business Reporter

Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao said Government will stick to the March 31, 2016 deadline for all foreign-owned firms to submit their indigenisation plans as pronounced by the end of last year. Government last year gave foreign-owned firms, a March 2016 deadline to submit plans on how to comply with the indigenisation law which requires them to only hold a 49 percent stake in the business.“Government will stick to the March 31 deadline as agreed with Minister of Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa after the-so-called ‘Battle of the two Patricks’.

“Actually President Robert Mugabe had previously pronounced December 31, 2015.

“Anybody who comes looking for a dispensation, I will oppose because the legislation has been there for about eight years and people did not take it seriously,” said Minister Zhuwao

while making a presentation at an Institute of Chartered Accounts Zimbabwe workshop yesterday.

The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act was passed in 2008 but implementation has been slow with most foreign companies resorting to a wait and see approach.

He said Government will take a tough approach on companies that fail submit their indigenisation plans by the deadline.

On youth empowerment, Minister Zhuwawo said financial institutions operating in Zimbabwe should create instruments which allow them to lend about $200 million to young people out of the total aggregated loan book of 4,3 billion.

He said if financial institutions fail to fulfil the mandate then they will have to pay the indigenisation and economic empowerment levy.

“The total aggregated loan book of all local financial institutions is $4,3 billion and financial institutions operating in Zimbabwe must create instruments

that allows them to lend $215 million to young people and if they don’t do that then they pay the levy.

“So we want the financial services sector to adhere to that and this came from the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Dr John Mangudya who is the regulator,” said Minister Zhuwao.

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