The government has announced plans to introduce one-stop border posts at all ports of entry, to improve the smooth flow of trade and ease the way of doing business in Zimbabwe.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare, chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda said by end of 2016 all border posts will be one-stop while by April Zimra and government departments will be electronically connected.
“We have already shortlisted companies that are bidding for the construction and revamp of the border posts. We will have e-government by end of April and once this system is up and running government will be able to monitor even the Zimra officers who are corrupt,” he said.
Revenue collector, Zimra has been accused of being the chief culprit in making the business operating environment harsh, especially for small and struggling companies by issuing garnish orders that have driven many organisations into bankruptcy.
Sibanda who through the Office of President and Cabinet is leading efforts to improve the Ease of Doing Business which is being supported by the World Bank, said Zimra has been engaged to ensure that it uses more friendly ways of collecting revenue.
“Zimra is working with the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises so they can find more friendly ways of collecting revenue as opposed to garnish orders. These issues have been raised and are being looked into with the view of improving the ease of doing business,” Sibanda said.
Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha said the government had made significant strides in improving the ease of doing business. He said the country was now being ranked 155 out of 189 in terms of Ease of Doing Business globally by the World Bank.
“This is an improvement of 16 places on the ranking compared to the previous year’s ranking of 171,” he said.
Bimha attributed the improvement to the reduction of number of days it takes to register a new company, pay taxes and acquire construction permits.
According to Bimha, construction permits were now being issued in 120 days compared to 448 days previously. Property registration which used to take 36 days now takes two weeks, while the time taken to pay taxes was reduced from 242 hours to 160 hours.