TELECOMMUNICATIONS stakeholders this week met officials from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to seek clarification on the new requirements for them to be classified as “export
ers” if there is a foreign currency component in their income.
In an attempt to fully account for all foreign currency receipts generated by the telecommunications sector, the RBZ proposed in the 2004 Q4 monetary policy statement that service providers licensed by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) register with Exchange Control, through their authorised dealers for reporting and monitoring purposes.
With effect from March1, all telecommunications service providers earning foreign currency will be recognised as exporters for exchange control purposes and will be required to declare their monthly foreign exchange earnings through an Exchange Control Post and Telecommunications Form (PT1).
All such companies must be registered by February 28 and will also be required to submit their records of inflow and outflow of traffic for audit purposes.
“Attempts to cheat the system and deny the country much needed foreign currency by players in this sector will be met with stiff penalties against companies concerned, their boards and management,” RBZ governor Gideon Gono warned.
Stakeholders, who include the RBZ, Potraz, Telecel, Econet Wireless, Net*One, Zimpost and Tel*One, said the Thursday meeting was the first in a series of meetings whose aim is to “clear the air and ensure transparency in the operation of the facility”.
They said the idea was to come up with a workable solution which does not offend investors in the critical sector. They also said more meetings would be held to work out the modalities of operating the facility.
“We wanted the RBZ to explain the new requirements and also to define the best ways of handling traffic,” said an official from one of the networks who attended the meeting.