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Govt scraps 20% export tax on chrome

Govt scraps 20% export tax on chrome

HARARE: The government has scrapped the 20 percent export tax on chrome, which has been a major hurdle in trading the mineral. Following the lifting of the chrome export ban in June this year, chrome miners have been finding it difficult to export their produce because of the levy.

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Walter Chidhakwa, confirmed the removal of the tax yesterday. “The 20 percent export tax has been removed and this is expected to boost chrome ore exports.

It’s now official, no more hindrances on the chrome sub sector,” said Chidhakwa. The government introduced the 20 percent export tax in 2009 as part of measures to promote domestic value addition and beneficiation.

The ban on export of chrome ore was lifted in June but miners could not take advantage of this new development because the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) insisted on payment of the 20 percent tax. Exports only resumed this month after numerous complaints from players in the sector. Chrome has not been sparred by declining global commodity prices.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) chief executive officer, Wellington Takavarasha, applauded the government for removing the tax. “It’s a relief to the small scale miners and the buyers although it took time to be resolved,” he said.

Presenting the 2016 budget statement in Parliament yesterday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa reported that the first shipment of chrome exports started three weeks ago. He also said the special purpose vehicle for chrome trade was operational after the government licensed 12 firms to export the mineral.