zimra 17-10-11.jpgThe business sector has criticised the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) for imposing surtax duty on imported second hand vehicles, foodstuffs and other basic commodities saying the move is ill-timed given the performance of the local industry.

Business has criticised the 25% surtax duty effected on the 1st of January by the revenue authority, describing it as a trigger for inflation.

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson for Industry and Commerce, Cde. William Mutomba said although the move is meant to protect local industry, it will have a negative impact on the progress of the economy since industry is still operating below 50% capacity utilisation.

A car dealer, Mr. George Zulu added that the move by ZIMRA will see second hand vehicle prices rising unless government comes up with a solution to the manufacture and assembling of vehicles locally.

Zimbabweans mostly import vehicles from countries such as Japan.

Early last year, it was reported that the number of cars coming in through the Beitbridge border post stood at 3 150 in January 2011 as compared to 2 310 in January 2010.

Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, beauty products and electric household equipment also attract the surtax duty.