By Innocent Ruwende
Government will look into concerns of the clothing industry after it complained about Customs and Excise Clothing Manufacturer Rebate Regulations (Statutory Instrument 32 of 2015), which players argue is pushing them out of business.
The instrument allows manufacturers to import textile materials duty-free.
Players in the industry say they now face extinction due to the rampant importation of materials by big companies.
Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said Government will consult.
“Issues to do with rebate are done by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, but we always consult. I am sure officials in my ministry are dealing with the matter and we will engage the Ministry of Finance to map a way forward,” he said.
In their presentations to the ministry, the industry argued the legislation was promulgated without any consultations and at the behest of a single player, the Zimbabwe Clothing Manufacturers Association (ZCMA).
“The general sentiments of the players being that they are not happy with the way ZCMA is being run as there is no consultation and decisions are being made presumably by an individual for and on behalf of the industry,” reads the document.
“The majority of the members expressed reservations about the association as they have never paid any subscriptions nor any affiliation fees hence impliedly they are not members and tend to wonder who is sponsoring it and in whose interests.”
The industry pleaded with Minister Bimha to look into the matter as it was forcing Small to Medium Enterprises out of business at the detriment of Government’s Zim-Asset goals.