The government has drawn down US$20 million towards the purchase of 44 million litres of fuel as part of efforts towards improving the supplies of the commodity to industry and commerce, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube has said.

The draw down facility modalities which were finalised on yesterday (Thursday) have also seen Treasury releasing the funds with immediate effect in order to normalise supply of the commodity within the formal markets, said Professor Ncube.

“Indeed we have done our part in importing the commodity and securing the funds but we just assure the nation to be patient in our efforts to normalise the situation,” he said.

The government said the minister is, however, concerned over pricing distortions within the fuel supply chain.

“We are doing our best but we find it more challenging that there are many unscrupulous traders within the markets,” said Minister Ncube.

Treasury is also in talks with several regional and global developmental financiers to secure relevant foreign currency or hard cash which is among other factors needed to purchase fuel and sustain productive sector requirements.

Concern is, however, being raised over the surge in fuel consumption during the past few months that is costing millions of dollars to the economy as most of it is reportedly not being used for productive purposes.

In a related development, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has called on members of the public to ignore social media messages alleging with effect from Monday next week the pricing system for the commodity will be in foreign currency.