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Zimbabwe puts cap on sugar imports

by Staff reporter
29 Nov 2020 at 06:47hrs | Views
THE Government has capped free sugar imports under the Open General Import Licence in a bid to encourage consumption of the locally produced commodity.

In the recently announced 2021 National Budget Statement, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube said sugar has been exempted from the Open General Import Licence.

"In order to encourage consumption of locally produced sugar, the commodity is excluded from importation under the Open General Import Licence. The current price of locally produced sugar, which is 50 percent above the landed price, has rendered exports of products such as confectioneries and beverages, uncompetitive," he said.

Prof Ncube also noted that in order to enhance exports of goods where sugar is the main ingredient, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will issue import licences, in line with exports realised in the past two years.

Prof Ncube also added that manufacturers will then be able to take advantage of the Inward Processing Rebate and the Duty Draw Back schemes availed by the Government to facilitate duty free importation of raw materials.

Meanwhile, as revenue enhancing measures, a cannabis levy has been set.

"Cannabis (mbanje/imbanje) production has immense potential to generate export receipts and tax revenues. The potential value of cannabis exports for medicinal purposes is estimated at about US$1.25 billion for the year 2021," he said.

This comes after it has been noticed that there are immense benefits that can accrue to the country from cannabis exports, Government promulgated legislation to govern the production, procurement, distribution, possession, sale, provision and transportation of the crop.

Prof Ncube said: "I, therefore, propose to introduce a Cannabis Levy, chargeable on the value of exports, at the following varied rates of tax that correspond to the level of processing."

He said 10 percent will be charged on the export sales value of finished packaged medicinal cannabis oils that are ready for resale; 15 percent on the export sales values of bulk extracted medicinal cannabis oils that require further processing and/ or packaging; and 20 percent on the export sales value of dried medicinal cannabis flowers.

Government legalised the production of cannabis (mbanje or dagga) for medicinal or scientific purposes in 2019. This was under the Statutory Instrument 62 of 2018 (Dangerous Drugs-Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations)

Source - sundaynews

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