Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Government has reversed a decision announced last week to levy a 10 percent tax on gross sales of tobacco farmers who do not have clearance certificates.
This follows a meeting between Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made and his Finance and Economic Development counterpart Cde Patrick Chinamasa over the emotive announcement which rattled the tobacco selling season, with farmers threatening to withhold their crop in protest.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority last week instructed tobacco auction floors to deduct a 10 percent tax on gross sales of farmers who failed to produce valid tax clearance certificates as at March 31.
Dr Made said farmers had pleaded with Government to reconsider the tax which they argued could cripple the nascent industry.
He said they had resolved the matter with Minister Chinamasa that no farmer would have his/her money deducted.
Dr Made urged tobacco growers to continue delivering their crop to the floors without fear as the tax issue had been resolved.
“Farmers had made a plea to Government. We had a discussion with Minister Chinamasa and I am pleased that we have amicably resolved the matter and reached an agreement that is expected to satisfy farmers and the Zimra,” said Dr Made.
“Farmers should not blame Zimra as it was working within the confines of the law.
“Farmers should go on with their business. Tobacco should continue to come to the floors especially now as we are approaching the Easter and Independence Day holidays,” he said.