HomeBusiness DigestNerp obligations place govt, RBZ under pressure

Nerp obligations place govt, RBZ under pressure

Shakeman Mugari

GOVERNMENT and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) are under pressure from major exporting companies to honour their obligations under the National Economical Revival Programm

e (Nerp).

Companies are demanding that the central bank and government review the Export Support Scheme, which stands at $843 per US dollar.

Nerp stakeholders had agreed that government would “administer and review the Exporting Support Scheme on a quarterly basis, to maintain competitiveness and sustainability in the exporting sector”.

Under Nerp government had also committed to review quarterly the requirement that exporting companies remit 50% of proceeds to the RBZ.

Analysts say exporters are demanding a further devaluation of $1 420 to US$1.

A senior manager with an exporting company said: “Production costs have gone up during the last three months. The $824 rate has been overtaken by events. The viability of exporters is once again threatened. A realistic rate would be $1 250 per US dollar.”

Officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development said there was little chance government would review the export rate.

A ministry official said: “Exporters were given a new rate in February on condition that they change their money on the official market but they have not been forthcoming. The government is not likely to review the rate.” At a National Economic Consultative Forum meeting last week it emerged that major stakeholders had not been consulted during the compilation of the Nerp document.

The tourism and banking sectors said they were not consulted in drafting the economic plan.

Intermarket Holdings Ltd boss Nicholas Vingirai said the banking sector had not been properly consulted on the plan. He said Nerp was “not clear on narrowing the current high spreads between deposit and lending rates”.

Vingirai said: “There was no proper consultation on this technical issue. If we were consulted about spreads then the issue does not seem to come out in the document.”

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