Outcry over new tax regime
He said producers and retailers were most likely to pass this cost to consumers.
“I think it was an error or finger problem and should be have been 0.02 cents per dollar. I am sure it will be retracted or clarified soon. Zimbabwe is on emotive and sensitive economic ground at present, the context must be appreciated. This has cast a cloud on what could have been a fair Monetary Policy Statement that gets us started. This needs to be dispelled urgently,” said Mr Moyo.
There is also a feeling that the new tax regime could discourage people from using electronic money, while some suggested that Government should have consulted before announcing the new rate.
“There is a thought that this is a way of mopping up excess liquidity or deterring those who using RTGS for parallel market activities, but this will also hurt legitimate business and drive people away from electronic money, the very thing we are trying to encourage in a cashless republic. We have to reduce liquidity in a way that doesn’t increase costs of doing business and prices to the consumer,” said Mr Moyo.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) executive director Ms Rosemary Siyachitema said they were still reviewing the monetary policy. Members of the public who spoke to The Chronicle also expressed dismay at the new tax and urged Government to review the decision. Some took to social media platforms to express their concerns. Mr Mthabisi Sibanda, an accountant said the two percent tax was very high considering that there is no cash circulating.
“I think this is too much. Maybe Government is trying to find a way to get people to bring cash back into circulation. We are using electronic money to pay Zesa, buy food, fuel among other things on a daily basis and for them to deduct two percent on all those transactions is not fair. We are already struggling without cash,” he said.
Ms Gladys Dube from Nketa 6 said the new tax would frustrate plastic money usage.
“When cash shortages started we were told to embrace plastic money but this is against the spirit of embracing it. We hardly access bond notes and serious taxation on the inflated electronic transactions doesn’t make our lives any better. It’s not that we are we are only going to make a single transaction a day,” said Ms Dube.