Industry Welcomes Liberalization Of Fuel Importation
Industrialists have welcomed government decision to liberalize procurement of fuel by big companies saying they expect the move will improve availability of the commodity whose scarcity has weighed down production in recent months.
Government announced the decision after a politburo meeting early this week amid mounting pressure to allow those with foreign currency to import fuel for their own consumption.
Previously government through a legal instrument SI 122 of 2017 only allowed companies licensed in terms of Section 29 of the Petroleum Act to import fuel.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce vice president, Kenneth Saruchera speaking 263ChatBusiness said the move was a noble idea which will see production resume after most companies were finding it hard to continue operations on the backdrop of intermittent fuel availability in the country.
“This is a very noble move because trading within the economy was being drawn back as transportation of goods was difficult. This is going to help more companies with free fund to procure fuel on their own capacity and this has been our concern for some time since Government was failing to avail it in adequate quantities,” he said.
Saruchera added that the timber sector was most hit in Manicaland areas as tonnes of timber is still stuck with no transportation to ferry it to the market places.
He however expressed concern on the quantum of fuel local firms are able to procure as most of the companies already are strained of foreign currency.
“Yes some companies have the foreign currency but this is were the problem might arise. Some companies might then be forced into engaging in parallel market activities to access the foreign but we hope it wont get to that but its also a challenge for local companies to then target the export market so as to generate foreign currency themselves,” added Saruchera.
Observers fear the move, despite being positive, is likely to exert more pressure on USD notes demand on the market, a move that will influence exchange rates going up.