“Govt doesn’t have forex to import basic commodities”: Minister clarifies import relaxation

Industry Minister Mike Bimha clarified that the import restrictions are still in effect but Government had relaxed them because there is no foreign currency to import basic commodities.

He said that Government had relaxed the restrictions to allow those that have foreign currency to import the basic commodities. Said Bimha:

We have always clarified that SI 64 (of 2016) is not a ban but a restriction on imports. We cannot import when we are producing enough goods for the country and the same can be said on shortages, we cannot have empty shelves during the Christmas period because we do not want imports. What this means is that when there is a shortage due to foreign currency deficiencies, we allow those with free funds to import basic commodities and my Ministry is ready to process permits and licences to that effect.

Bimha said that the relaxation was also a means by Government to stop price hikes during the Christmas period. He argues that with the easing of import permits more goods will come, hence prices will go down.

More: Herald

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