Govt dismisses claims of new Zim dollar this week

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The RBZ absorbed loans of multi million dollar companies like Cottco, Bitumen, Rio Zim, Hwange and even a private college. The companies, who had failed to pay back the banks, have failed to pay back the RBZ, and now the central bank has been forced to start looking for investors to save the companies from sinking, together with the RBZs money

Harare – Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube has dismissed claims by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti that government will introduce a new currency this week.

Addressing journalists during a tour of Nestle-Zimbabwe in Harare Ncube said Biti was free to express himself but his views were not true.

“He is not in government, we are but i always enjoy with him. i think he is free to comment or say anything and also he is a member of the opposition, that is always welcome, it keeps us on our toes. We have policies; we will do it when we are ready.

“That is up to him to say whatever he needs to say but we have a game plan, we have a roadmap,” he said.

The opposition MP had said government would be introducing a new currency this week which would not be supported by any reserves.

But Ncube said the claims were false but he could not give a timeframe in which the new currency was going to be introduced.

“Do the needful when the conditions are right, i cannot give a timeline.

“I have always said by 12 months’ time, in 12 months’ time, we should done a lot in reforming our currency monitory system and I still maintain that,” he said.

Minister Ncube said government has been collecting about 80 million in taxes every month

“We are collecting 2% tax every month so far we have very firm figures for October and November, we are just finalising the December and January figures.

“I think we are averaging about 80 million a month in terms of collection we gave quite a lot of exemptions and we believe that at level it’s okay and that it will go a long way in supporting the social infrastructure.

“What we are doing is targeting education, health services devolution, the costs of devolution which is 350 million.

“Already we have written letters to every province, district for them to propose projects so that they can draw down at the and we have told them what they are due for so this money is already being allocated and we have got that run rate of about 80 million a month.

“Government does not have the capacity to pay government workers more salaries because we have budget constrains but at the same time we do understand when they push for higher wages in an inflation environment,” he said.

Meanwhile he said government had no capacity to pay civil servants more than 20 percent of their earnings.

“We will to accommodate them to make sure that we can work together as partners and move forward.

“We know that it is not easy is have always said that reforms are always painful so we feel for them but I am sure that we will come to an agreement that is palatable and affordable to government as well,” he said.