Lionel Depute Herald Reporter
Prices of basic consumer goods have declined marginally due to promotions on various goods in supermarkets as the nation adapts to the use of bond notes and electronic platforms, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has revealed.
A survey carried out by The Herald also showed that prices of basic commodities had decreased by varying margins.
The cost of living as measured by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe’s low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six decreased from the end of January figure of $590,52 to $585,07 by end of February 2017, showing a decrease of $5,45 or 0,92 percent.
Statistics from the CCZ show that the food basket decreased by $4,12 or 2,85 percent from $144.36 by end-January to $140,24 by end of February 2017.
The price of detergents decreased by $1,33 or 10,94 percent from $12,16 to $10,83.
CCZ executive director Ms Rosemary Siyachitema attributed the decrease in prices to the removal of 15 percent VAT under Statutory Instrument (SI) 20 of 2017 on rice, meat and other products.
Ms Siyachitema said prices for other products remained high because the 15 percent VAT under SI20 had not been fully reversed.
“The reversal has not been a full reversal, it was 15 percent taken off some products and that is why there was an increase in prices of bread, salt and other products,” she said.
“Some prices have gone down in a marginal way due to the removal of the SI 20 on other products.”
She said prices had not normalised.
“We expect everything to go back to normal. The prices have gone down, yes, but not to where they were before the introduction of SI 20,” she said.
“There has been a window dressing reduction. The prices are still a little bit more than they were before SI 20.”
When 15 percent VAT under Statutory Instrument SI20 of 2017 on rice, meat and other products was introduced, there was an outcry from consumers.
Decreases were recorded in mealie meal, cooking oil, rice, margarine, tea leaves, milk, meat, bathing soap, laundry soap and washing powder.
Increases were recorded in the price of flour, salt, tomatoes, onions and cabbage.
The price of sugar remained unchanged from the end-January figure.