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Mthuli Says Govt To Maintain Interest Rates At Par With Inflation

1 year agoSun, 12 Feb 2023 09:14:01 GMT
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Mthuli Says Govt To Maintain Interest Rates At Par With Inflation

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube said that the government will maintain interest rates at par with inflation to promote the use of the Zimbabwe dollar in local transactions.

Ncube told the Sunday News that despite the rise in the use of US dollars in local transactions, nothing has changed in terms of the government’s focus on promoting the Zimbabwe dollar. Said Ncube:

We are now maintaining interest rates that are at least at par with inflation. Our preference is for positive interest rates, that is what gives currency value.

Maintaining positive interest rates is one way to maintain the value of the Zimbabwe dollar.

When individuals transact on a day-to-day basis using their mobile platforms, the mobile platform is basically the Zimbabwe dollar, which continues to be used widely.

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Some of the taxes that are collected are paid in Zimbabwe dollars. Then there is demand for those Zimbabwe dollars.

This is a policy that we have in place and it will continue. Nothing has changed in terms of focus on promoting our currency.

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) recently revealed that percent of local transactions are now in US dollars, with the remainder in local currency.

Furthermore, allocations from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) foreign currency auction system have also declined, showing reduced demand for USD.

Ncube said partial dollarisation has helped the country circumvent sanctions which are making it difficult for the country to access affordable loans from international financial institutions (IFIs). He said:

But because of the sanctions on Zimbabwe, we cannot access credit lines abroad easily.

This then compels us to find ways to ensure that US dollars are available for companies to harness and invest locally.

That is the reason why we are allowing US dollars to circulate. We are circumventing a constraint that we have.

We also subject our domestic currency to the full monetary policy framework.

That is why we have the Monetary Policy Committee, which makes sure that we do not allow money supply, the Zimbabwe dollar, to get out of control.

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