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Minister grilled over monetary, fiscal policies inconsistency

BY VENERANDA LANGA INCONSISTENT monetary and fiscal policies which have resulted in confused multi-tier pricing systems for goods and services are the biggest threat to the country, not opposition, Norton MP Temba Mliswa has said. Mliswa made the remarks in Parliament yesterday when Finance deputy minister Clemence Chiduwa was being grilled over multi-tier pricing. When Chiduwa claimed that the monetary and fiscal policies were performing well, Mliswa then said: “This is an opportunity for us to be honest. The biggest national security threat is the inconsistency of the monetary policy. It is not the opposition. “EcoCash has its own price and the RTGS [Real Time Gross Settlement], bond notes and the United States dollars have their own prices and this can no longer be accepted. “How can we sustain or run an economy when all the monetary policies that we have had do not work and you still stand up in boldness and try to convince us? People are suffering everyday, why did they embark on this when their framework was not in order,” he asked? But Chiduwa claimed that there were several people with US dollars who were trying to get RTGS balances, which was a sign that the local currency had regained its value. Chiduwa said a special committee comprising stakeholders such as the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the business community had been formed to monitor businesses manipulating the exchange rate. Proportional Representation MP Lynette Karenyi-Kore (MDC Alliance) said there was no monitoring as chain stores were charging using different rates to the US dollar. “Spar has its own rate, but OK is using the auction rate. Those who are in the informal sector use a rate which they get from the variety chain stores. As government, we are going to start with the big chain stores,” Chiduwa said. Chiduwa said all goods and services paid for in US dollars should be receipted in their currency of trade. “However, in our research we discovered that the big shops have systems problems. They were given up to Friday by Zimra to comply,” he said. Dzivarasekwa MP Edwin Mushoriwa (MDC Alliance said several people who applied for cheaper foreign currency at the auction floors were not getting that money, but Chiduwa denied that assertion, claiming a majority were succeeding.

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