Finance Minister Ncube Explains The Proposed US$50 Cellphone Levy

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has explained the proposed US$50 cellphone levy which he said would apply to individuals who would have failed to pay duty on imported cellphones.

Ncube’s original proposal, which he made in the 2022 national budget, triggered a public outcry with Members of Parliament threatening to reject the Budget.

But during the debate on the Finance Bill in the Senate on Tuesday, Ncube said the US$50 levy was a mechanism to enforce the payment of the 25% duty. He said:

When it comes to other electronic gadgets, we have actually reduced the duty to zero. The only duty remaining is the 25% duty on phones.  So what is the problem we trying to solve? The problem we are trying to solve is that no duty of 25% is being paid by anyone who is bringing phones into the country. Why? Because these are small gadgets, you put them in your pocket or wherever in your handbag and you pass through the border.  No duty is paid.

We are not collecting anything.  What we are trying to do is to design a mechanism that can enforce the payment of the 25% duty, hence this 50% levy.  It is only payable if you cannot prove that you have paid the 25% duty.  So it is not a duty, it is an enforcement mechanism to enforce the payment of the duty which already exists in the first place.

Senator Chief Ndlovu proposed that the Finance ministry should scrap off the levy or lower the payable levy as citizens were having challenges to reclaim the funds they would have paid to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).

Ndlovu added that companies that have got millions of dollars struggle to get their money from ZIMRA adding that was going to be worse for someone who is travelling from rural areas to come and claim a US$50 fee.

More: NewsDay Zimbabwe

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