Source: Imports of US$ to continue: Chinamasa – Sunday News Dec 4, 2016
THE Government will continue importing US dollars as the introduction of bond notes onto the market will help in reducing the import bill, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.
Minister Chinamasa said it was very expensive to import physical cash as it is paid for in US dollars.
Speaking to our Harare Bureau Minister Chinamasa said: “The point I am making is that we are using our US dollar receipts from exports such as tobacco, gold, platinum, nickel and chrome to import physical cash.
“The tragedy that we are then having is that after we spend a lot of money importing the cash, people come and mop it up and get it out of the country. So, one of the advantages of bond notes is to ensure the valuable US dollars that we import are not mopped up but remain in the country for use for critical purposes.
“The very precious US dollars which cost us a fortune to import have been disappearing like water through a sieve. We cannot continue importing physical cash so that it comes and disappears from the system. So, bond notes will ensure not all that we have is mopped up.
“What I want to reiterate is that we will continue to import the US dollar, but the coming in of bond notes means that they will help us reduce importing the US dollars by a fraction. We use a multi-currency system; so under that multi-currency system, the US dollar will remain because we will continue to import it.
“We are also encouraging use of other currencies in the multi-currency basket, particularly the South African rand. This is why Government departments have been directed to accept other currencies such as the rand, pula, Australian dollar, pound and other currencies in the multi-currency basket.”