FINANCE Minister , Mthuli Ncube Monday announced that the 2 % tax collections will be going towards the fight against Coronavirus.
The announcement came on the first day of the 21 days lockdown which came after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s directive in a bid to minimize the spread of Coronavirus.
“The 2% Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) which is currently ring-fenced for social protection and capital development projects and hence, will ordinarily be channeled towards COVID-19 related mitigatory expenditures,” he said.
Ncube said that treasury will be redirecting capital expenditure allocations under the 2020 National Budget towards health related expenditures including water supply and sanitation programmes while continuing to implement selected priority programmes and projects to sustain the economy.
“Additional resources will constitute some cuts from respective Ministry allocations/budgets and details are being worked out. Treasury has issued a Circular of 20 March 2020 instructing line Ministries to identify areas for cuts and areas for redirecting expenditures,” Ncube said.
He said during the initial stages, treasury availed US$2 million for urgent and immediate health related imports and will continue to mobilise and ring-fence the necessary foreign currency required for additional imports for the short to medium term.
However, the amounts appear to be falling far short of the required sums after officials at Wilkins Hospital last week revealed that they had made a request of US$6 million for complete upgrade of the facility.
Treasury has also concurred to the unfreezing of over 4 000 health sector posts and creation of an additional 200 medical posts with a view of scaling the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duty payment for the importation of Coid19 related materials has also been suspended.
To date government has received overwhelming support and pledges from the United Kingdom, USA, Global Fund among other development partners.