Businesses indexing their Zimbabwe dollar prices to black market exchange rates instead of auction rate will be hunted down next week as Government launches a blitz on this practice, starting with larger businesses, Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister Clemence Chiduwa has said.
Responding in the National Assembly to Midlands Proportional Representation, Cde Perseverance Zhou (Zanu PF), had asked what Government was doing to reign in businesses that were indexing prices to parallel market rates, Deputy Minister Chiduwa said a committee comprising stakeholders such as police and consumer representatives would move around ensuring compliance with laws that demand the use of the auction rate.
“We want to start with big shops so that smaller shops will also comply. There are some shops that have complied while others have not,” said Deputy Minister Chiduwa.
A number of traders are still resisting displaying prices in both local and foreign currency in conformity to the law.
This has seen consumers being ripped off as the local currency prices are not in line with the auction rate. Pharmacies, doctors and private hospitals are largely charging at the rate of US$1:$130, which is way higher than the US$1: $81,44 that emerged after this week’s auction. The auction rate has been exceptionally stable for two months.
Traders have also been given until tomorrow to issue foreign currency denominated receipts whenever they receive foreign currency for goods and services so that their tax liabilities are paid in the currencies they receive.
All along, they have been selling in forex only to issue receipts in local currency.
Deputy Minister Chiduwa said traders had been suffering from system challenges resulting in the delay in issuing foreign currency denominated receipts.