By Natalie Chiwomadzi
THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) has increased vehicle licensing by 500%, which finance minister; professor Mthuli Ncube said is justified by the depreciation of the local unit against major currencies.
Following ZINARA’s dismissal of reports that encouraged people to pay for vehicle licences before the increases, Ncube contradictorily announced the increase of light motor vehicles toll fees to ZWL$10 from ZWL$2 while that of heavy vehicles surged to ZWL$25 from ZWL$5. License fees for light vehicles were also increased to ZWL$100 from ZWL$20.
In the same vein, inspection of heavy vehicles jumped to ZWL$125 from ZWL$25. Learner license tests will now require payment of ZWL$100 from ZW$L20 while getting a license for classes 1,2 and 5 will require ZWL$125 from the previously charged ZWL$25. To obtain a licence for classes 3 and 4, one will have to fork out ZWL$100 from the previous ZWL$20.
Presenting the mid-term review and supplementary budget in parliament yesterday, Ncube said the increases were necessary in light of economic development.
“You will be aware that upon adoption of the Real Time Gross Settlement Dollar as part of the multi currency system through Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019, all amounts expressed in United States Dollars were converted to local currency on a one-to-one basis.
“Consequently, all Statutory fees, levies and charges are now quoted in local currency.
“However, depreciation of the local unit against major currencies has increased the cost of goods and services, hence the current level of fees, levies and charges is no longer reflective of the cost of providing government services,” he said.
Ncube said the increase of the vehicle licensing are in line with section 78(1)(r) of the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19], which empowers treasury to prescribe the level of fees and charges for revenues accruing to the consolidated revenue fund and proposed to review fees, levies and charges on government services, in line with economic developments.