|Government orders mining firms to bank locally|
|Sunday, 18 March 2012 11:12|
Kuda Bwititi and Itai Mazire
In an interview last Friday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said Cabinet took the decision last week in line with concerted efforts to improve liquidity and boost economic performance.
The deadline for the repatriation of the funds and action to be taken against defiant firms will soon be announced.
“We have been liberal. It does not make sense that mining companies are operating in the country and keeping money in offshore accounts. An order has been issued and they should all bring the money back into the country because the economy is now dollarised.
“It is only logical. Why would a company mine in this country and bank in an offshore account?”
Dr Mpofu said Government was monitoring the foreign mining companies, adding that they would be forced to comply. He said the country should benefit from revenue generated from mining.
“We are aware that some companies are stashing their money in foreign financial institutions.
“Since 2009, we have exported in excess of US$5 billion in minerals alone. However, deposits in the local banking sector are still low,” he said.
“There is a gross misalignment of the revenue that is coming from the mining sector. The banking of the money in foreign accounts is one of the reasons why we continue to face liquidity challenges. There is need for a policy that will be able to harness revenue from the mining sector.”
Mr Muchemwa said such a policy protected investor needs and those of the country.
“Therefore, the policy should be aligned in such a way that it does not stall these lines of investment.”