Govt Issues 20 Cooking Oil Import Licenses

Msokera Msokera - file photo

Government has issued 20 import licenses for cooking oil to different traders, a move designed to stabilise the rising cost of the commodity on the local market.

Ministry of Trade and Industry spokesperson, Mayeso Msokera, says the expected benefits after the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on cooking oil price build-up has been offset by the external shocks and the general rise of prices, induced by the devaluation of the local currency and the fuel hike.

Msokera says the insuance of the licences is on-going, calling on other interested to come forth.

Economist, Professor Betchani Tchereni believes the best option now is to issue cooking oil manufacturing licences to more players and incentivise the production; thereby, lowering the commodity prices, create employment, get tax remittances and retain forex.

"The best option is for us to produce our own cooking oil en masse. By that I mean instead of giving out import licenses, we should be giving out many manufacturing licences to as many people as possible and provide certain incentives s that many can be attracted to that industry. This would have encouraged many to be manufacturing the cooking oil here," Tchereni suggested.

Meanwhile, Msokera indicated that the inspection by the Ministry and Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has established that most supermarkets stopped charging the 16.5 VAT on the cooking oil.

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