HARARE – The central bank has moved to clarify on how it intends to award tobacco exporters with a five percent export bonus, following concerns around the printing of bond notes as a way of disbursing the proposed levy.
In a statement released to business last week, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) announced that 50 percent of all proceeds from tobacco drawdowns released for purposes of purchasing the golden leaf by merchants was to be transferred into the central bank’s nostro account.
“… proceeds from tobacco drawdowns or tobacco offshore facilities disbursed for purposes of purchasing tobacco on the auction floors by tobacco merchants, shall be transferred to RBZ’s nostro account immediately on drawdown of such proceeds,” the central bank said.
The apex bank also highlighted that upon receipt of drawdown of loan proceeds, RBZ was to immediately credit the same amount in United States Dollar (US$) to the Authorised Dealer’s RTGS Account for the account of the tobacco merchant and facilitate payments to various beneficiary tobacco growers’ accounts.
“Upon value addition (tobacco) processing and export of tobacco, the tobacco merchant shall benefit from the five percent export incentive based on the value addition component, upon the full acquittal of the Form CD1,” RBZ said.
The central bank also announced that 50 percent of all new foreign exchange receipts from export of goods and services denominated in US$ were to be submitted to RBZ immediately on receipt, with the remaining 50 percent being credited into the exporter’s FCA in US$.
“On receipt of the 50 percent export proceeds into its nostro, RBZ shall immediately credit the same amount plus the five percent export incentive /bonus in US$ into the Authorised Dealer’s RTGS Account for the account of the exporter,” RBZ said.
This comes as the central bank governor John Mangudya has been under fire from various quarters concerning the administration of the proposed levy, which he plans to disburse through bond notes.
Mangudya last week had to defend himself in front of a parliamentary committee, arguing that contrary to popular belief that the notes were government’s way of sneaking the notorious local currency back into the system, the notes were aimed at incentivising exporters to increase production.
The planned bond notes are backed by a new $200 million bond facility from Afreximbank.
After the announcement, tobacco farmers rioted demanding to get their tobacco earnings in cash excess of the limited $1 000 daily withdraws.
Mangudya, who capitulated under pressure and allowed farmers to receive up to $10 000 per day, conceded that the recent policy pronouncements were misunderstood by the public.
Meanwhile, RBZ has since removed its requirement for the apportionment of 50 percent of foreign exchange receipts into 40 percent South African rands and 10 percent Euro, following concerns from industry that the move was ill-advised.