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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
HomeNewsGovt Revokes Schweppes’ Duty Waiver

Govt Revokes Schweppes’ Duty Waiver

Government has revoked a duty waiver on imported orange and grape fruits that had been accorded to Beitbridge Juicing Private Limited a Schweppes subsidiary, as punishment for the pricing of Mazoe Orange Crush in United States dollars.

Schweppes has been charging its Mazoe Orange Crush Product exclusively in US$ forcing retailers to also restrict the product to foreign currency sales only.

In a letter addressed to the company’s managing director Charles Msipa, secretary for finance and economic development George Guvamatanga said the Government had revoked the suspension of duty facility with immediate effect.

“As you would be aware, Treasury, on 1 July 2022, provided a once-off suspension of duty facility for your company to import 10 000 MT of oranges and 5 000 MT of grape fruits. This measure was expected to augment local supplies, thereby minimising supply disruptions, as well as guaranteeing affordable prices to the general public.

“Treasury, however, notes that the pricing of your products is now exclusively in foreign currency, notwithstanding Government’s initiatives to promote the use of local currency. You will be aware that beneficiaries of tax incentives are expected to complement Government’s interventions with responsible pricing models with a view to ensuring affordability of goods, which is key in achieving Government’s developmental objectives.

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“In view of the above, I wish to advise that, pending conclusion of investigations on your pricing model, the Suspension of Duty Facility has been revoked. In this regard, all new imported consignments will, with immediate effect, be liable to duty at prescribed rates,” wrote Guvamatanga.

Several retail outlets in the capital are demanding exclusively US dollars on selected products such as sugar, milk, cooking oil, Mazoe, rice and flour.

The economy has been on a free fall over the last three months owing to the volatile exchange rate with Government resolute that the economy will not fully re dollarise.

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