Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube yesterday defended the payment of import duty in foreign currency saying it is based on the ability to pay.
His defence came after Harare East legislator, Tendai Biti (MDC Alliance) indicated that levying of duty in hard currency only was unlawful as bond notes were also legal tender. Said Ncube:
This measure is based on the ability to pay principle. In order to import, an individual requires foreign currency therefore the source of foreign currency to import can also be the source of foreign currency to settle the duty requirement component. This brings out the element of ability to pay. It is also worth noting that this proposed measure is a demand management mechanism which is aimed at reducing the propensity to import using scarce foreign currency resources. I must add that Zimbabwe has about 1,7 million cars and in the last 12 months we had an increase of 700 000 cars in one year alone, this is a huge increase, it is increasing the demand for fuel.