The government will with effect from tomorrow (Friday) start collecting custom duty on imported motor vehicle imports in foreign currency in a demand management move to reduce outflows of hard currency with the money set to be directed to productive sectors.

This came out when Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube delivered his budget statement at Parliament this afternoon.

Zimbabwe’s economy has been reeling under several challenges that have seen ordinary people and captains of industry and commerce calling on regulatory authorities to focus on urgent solutions.

Responding to the needs of the economy in his maiden 2019 national a budget presentation in the capital, Professor Ncube revealed the government is focusing on productive sectors at the expense of luxury imports.

The move to charge luxurious motor vehicle imports in foreign currency is expected to help ease foreign currency pressures on consumptive goods, according to Professor Ncube.

Between January and October this year, Zimbabwe spent more than US$1.2 billion on fuel imports and the minister has increased excise duty on the commodity with effect from December 1 this year, notes Professor Ncube.

“We just want everything to go the right way so it is an issue of restoring confidence,” he said.

Some of the key highlights of the 2019 national budget include a projected growth of 3.1 percent, restructuring of treasury bills and continued use of a multi-currency system.

A 15 percent tax on unrefined platinum exports has been deferred to 2022 while custom duty on sanitary wear has been suspended.

Education got the highest budgetary allocation.

Those who flout traffic regulations will also be in trouble as Road Traffic Act penalties have been reviewed upwards.