Business Reporter Government has commissioned a $1,2 million Electronic Cargo Tracking System which was availed under a capacity building for public and economic management project being financed by the African Development Bank (AFDB).
The ECTS is expected to go a long way in reducing the cases of transit fraud and the dumping of illegal imports on the domestic market which is estimated at $1 billion annually.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony on Monday, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa said there is need for concerted efforts in tackling corruption but expressed confidence the introduction of the system would result in an increase in contributions to the fiscus.
"This is a special project that Zimra has been working on since last year. I gave them the mandate that they should expand the tax base by bringing in more economic players into the tax net. "I am fully aware that those who are enegaged in corrupt activities would not want this system because it will minimise their (unlawful) gains. So as we implement, we expect resistance from within and must be on guard at all times," said Minister Chinamasa.
Zimra board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said the fight against corruption remains a key priority area for the tax collector.
ADB principal country manager and programme officer Ms Eyerusalem Fasika is confident the cargo tracking system will go a long way in reducing the cost of doing business and promoting trade. "ADB allocated $5.6 million to Zimra under the capacity building for public and economic management project and to date $2.4 million has been utilised for equipment while $1 million has supported the training of Zimra staff," said Ms Fasika.
The Ministry of Finance availed $1 million which went towards the procurement of additional cargo tracking seals.