Import duty consultations about the duty free zone for imported basic commodities have begun, amid calls by the business community for Government to assess industryâ€™s production as well as its efficiency in supplying the countryâ€™s formal markets with locally produced goods.
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Mr.Â Clever Madzara said while Government has liberalised the economy, it is in the interests of industry that a favourable decision on the duty free zone for imported goods is made to consolidate economic gains.
Â â€œThis issue is something which is still under discussions but as business we hope something to restore economic growth will be done,â€ said Mr. Madzara.
The duty free zone on imported basic goods has been operational since February last year. An industrialist Mr Gladmore Chifamba acknowledges the need for the extension of the duty free zone but says Government should introduce incentives to increase production.
Â â€œThere is the need for incentives to increase productivity so as to sustain demand,â€ added Mr. Chifamba.
Consumers who spoke to ZBC news expressed mixed views with some saying it is important to facilitate competition between local and external products by extending the duty free zone, while others said Government should protect the local industry by scrapping the duty free importation of selected basic goods.
The decision on the duty free system for imported basic goods is expected to be announced by the fiscal authorities in the 2010 Mid-Term Budget Review set for next month.