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Harambe:  Zimbabwe Govt Under Pressure Over Runaway Parallel Exchange Rate | AllAfrica


The government has not yet found a way around the runaway parallel foreign currency exchange rate which continues to pile pressure on macro-economic measures put in place to control inflation and currency stability.

In a statement Thursday, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube confirmed that the government was worried by illegal foreign currency trading and parallel market benchmarking of prices.

He announced additional measures meant to curb the runaway parallel exchange rate.

“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority will be carrying out impromptu audits of corporate activities with a view of quantifying potential tax liabilities arising out of illegal foreign currency trading,” said the finance Minister.

“ZIMRA will also be carrying out compliance Audits with respect to compliance with the Location Tax introduced during the 2021 fiscal year. The FIU will continue to closely monitor and analyze financial transactions to identify, expose and take action against perpetrators of money laundering and other financial crime,”

The capacity of the FIU and other law enforcement agencies will investigate and prosecute violations of the Bank Use Promotion Act as well as various AMLCFT laws will be enhanced.

“Regulatory bodies including the Public Accountants and Auditors Board, will also be working on a framework to impose appropriate financial and professional sanctions on members of the accounting, auditing and other professions who may be complicit in superintending over illicit affairs by corporate entities which they are charged with running,”

“Businesses who disregard the law and continue price their goods on the parallel market rates will have their licenses suspended,” said Prof Ncube.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit has also announced that it is investigating allegations of currency manipulation and pegging of the Zimbabwe dollar at 200 against US$1 circulating on social media, with fast-foods outlet Simbisa Brands at the center of the storm.

Last month, eight financial institutions allegedly involved in foreign currency dealings in Harare through EcoCash bulk payer lines were hauled before the court and their cases are still pending.

Titanium Capital (Pvt) Limited, Dream High Investments (Pvt) Limited, Access Finance (Private) Limited, Tererati (Private) Limited, Vision Credit Source (Private) Limited, Capital Profit Financial Services, Raymond Mudonhi Investment (Private) Limited, Justice Mahuni, Kudzai Mudonhi, and Juso Global Limited, separately appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court charged with illegally dealing in foreign currency.


Harambe:  When can I visit Vietnam? Phased tourism reopening starts in November | Lonely Planet


As Vietnam prepares to welcome tourists to the resort island of Phu Quoc next month, the government has revealed plans to potentially open Hoi An and Halong Bay to some visitors in December, before reopening fully in June next year.

More than one year after the pandemic forced the country’s borders to close, Vietnam is developing a phased approach to reopening. In Phu Quoc, a pilot scheme will launch next month to allow fully vaccinated visitors to travel there without quarantine, similar to Thailand’s sandbox model. Only travelers from what Vietnam categorizes as low-risk COVID-19 countries can visit Phu Quoc under the scheme, which includes the US, Australia and countries in Europe, the Middle East and Northeast Asia.

Visitor numbers will be limited at first, and their travels will be restricted to Phu Quoc, where the pandemic is relatively well-maintained. But if the program is successful, the government announced on Thursday it may roll out a similar scheme across select destinations from December, including Halong Bay, Hoi An, the beach resort of Nha Trang, and Dalat, the adventure sport capital of Vietnam.

International tourists who wish to visit must be fully vaccinated, with the second dose administered at least 14 days and no more than 12 months before the date of entry, in addition to presenting a negative result from a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before flying.

Vietnam is also considering introducing vaccine passports or health passes to facilitate a safe reopening. Specifics are still up in the air but officials are hoping the system is in place before it fully opens borders to tourists worldwide in June next year.

“We are only open when it’s truly safe,” the government said in a statement via Reuters. “We are moving step by step, cautiously but flexibly to adapt to real situations of the pandemic.”

Until recently, Vietnam was one of the world’s top performers at fighting the coronavirus. But the Delta variant and a shortage of vaccine supplies have caused a surge in infections. Currently only 12.6% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to Oxford’s Our World In Data, and there are fears of a potential surge in the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands in the coming days.


Tishwash:  Will the standard of living of the citizen improve and oil prices above 80 dollars?

International oil prices are still above the $80 per barrel barrier, at a time when this means a jump inIraq’s revenues, because the budget has adopted a much lower price, which makes the public wonder where these differences go and why the standard of living for individuals does not improve?

In this regard, the financial affairs specialist, Ammar Mahmoud Al-Samarrai, explains that “Iraq has external debts that have resulted in interest, which necessitates expediting the extinguishment of these debts, from oil revenues, to ensure that Iraq continues to obtain the stability of its credit rating.”

Oil prices rose, heading for an increase of 4.5% during the week, due to indications that some industries are starting to switch from using high-priced gas as fuel to oil, and Brent crude futures jumped 93 cents, or 1.1%, to $ 82.88 a barrel by the closing of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Al-Samarrai added to “Al-Sabah” that “the surplus amount of the oil price difference will not serve the citizen directly because of the large number of external debts imposed by the conditions that the country has experienced in previous years,” noting that any recovery in oil prices and in light of the weight of debts, the citizen will not He sees no improvement in the living situation.

He stressed that “activating the private sector will raise the gross domestic product to good rates that will achieve stability in the markets by increasing its supply of job opportunities, and thus the private sector will be the largest absorber of unemployment.”

Al-Samarrai believed that “reducing dependence on oil as a unilateral resource for the budget will enhance the opportunities for the private sector to rise in the operation of the productive sectors, including agriculture and tourism, which thus opens the doors of investment for tourism and agricultural marketing companies and others, to ensure that Iraq gets rid of external debts.”

He called on those in charge of the economic file to “put effective plans to quickly get rid of debts and achieve economic recovery for the finances of individuals, which would achieve stability in the economic conditions of families and improve their standard of living.”

For his part, the economic affairs specialist, Safwan Qusay, said that the government is required to carry out a process of changing the compass of public spending and moving towards investment by activating the Iraq Reconstruction Fund, proposing to disengage the investment budget from public spending. Qusay said: “The increase in the level of spending is due to the increase in operational, not investment, spending. The number of Iraqi state employees increased from 800,000 employees before 2003 to nearly 4 million and 500 thousand employees so far, as well as the number of retirees as well as those covered by social care.”

He added that “the investment budget figures in the laws of public budgets for the previous years are very shy, stressing the possibility of disengaging the investment budget from public spending and making it part of the reconstruction fund, and that another step should follow to free government capital.”

And he indicated that “Iraq since 1920 has invested in government capital and the returns are almost negligible,” explaining that “there is money with the government, if its ownership is transferred to the Iraq Reconstruction Fund and managed with an investment mentality, it will be able to achieve sustainable development.”   link

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