Zim fuel levies might be reviewed
Harare – Finance and Economic Development Minister, Dr Ignatious Chombo said on Wednesday government might, in the forthcoming 2018 national budget, review fuel taxes which make the commodity more expensive than elsewhere in the region.
This was after National Assembly legislators took Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Tsitsi Muzenda to task during the Question and Answer session on why fuel remained expensive in the country.
The high prices were a contributory factor in making other goods and services more expensive, they said.
Muzenda told the National Assembly the various taxes and levies imposed by government through the finance ministry on fuel made it more expensive.
“The reason why our fuel is more expensive is because we have other taxes we add to fuel when it reaches here in Zimbabwe,” Muzenda told the legislators.
Officials from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority have said diesel and petrol are charged taxies and levies that add up to over 0,50 cents and 0,63 cents respectively.
Some of the levies include carbon tax, road levy, NocZim debt levy and debt redemption.
Buhera South legislator, Joseph Chinotimba had asked why petrol, imported from Mozambique by Zimbabwe and its neighbour Zambia cost $1.36 in the country and less than a dollar in the neighbouring country.
“Zambian fuel trucks actually pass through Zimbabwe on the way to their country but still sell at a lower price,” he said.
Other legislators said the imposition of many taxes on fuel were against government’s drive to improve the ease of doing business.
Muzenda passed the buck to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, resulting in the newly appointed treasury head, Dr Chombo being put on the line.
In a response that left most legislators unconvinced, Dr Chombo said, “The increase or decrease in taxes is an exercise done yearly by the Ministry of Finance.
“You have asked the question at the right time because this is the time to prepare for the budget, all you have said will be taken into consideration.”
2018 budget consultations are on-going with the budget set to be presented before the end of the year.