The Zimbabwean government on Thursday removed a 15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on basic commodities it imposed at the beginning of February following an outcry from all stakeholders.
Producers, retailers and consumers had criticized the VAT, which had resulted in prices of previously zero-rated goods such as meat and meat products, rice, potatoes and margarine skyrocketing by as much as 30 percent.
The cash-strapped government had imposed the VAT in a bid to raise money to fund its operations, but producers complained about high production costs and the threat this posed on viability, while retailers was upset about reduced sales and consumers complained about affordability.
Consumer Tendai Gomwe welcomed the reversal of the tax saying that more people would be able to afford the goods and take care of their dependents.
“Basic commodities are now within reach of the working class,” he said.
Another consumer Phillip Kazuwa said it was unfortunate that when faced with fiscal challenges, the government targeted struggling ordinary citizens for relief. Enditem