Govt set to introduce database and coupons for subsidized maize roller meal. As the shortage of maize meal mealie continues to plague the country, the government has said that it will introduce a database and coupon system to ensure that poor people can get the staple.
iHarare has established from the Chronicle that the coupons will be introduced within the week. The coupons are meant to guarantee that the vulnerable people actually benefit as they are the target of the subsidy.
The introduction of the database and the coupon system comes just a few days after Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Mthuli Ncube announced that he was “pleased” to increase the price of the roller meal by 40 per cent. A 10-kilogram bag of the subsidized maize roller meal now costs ZWL$70, $20 up from $50.
Explaining how the database and the coupon system would work, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said,
…it was decided that the price be raised to $70 per 10kg bag of mealie meal from $50. Secondly, a targeted coupon scheme for the vulnerable is in the offing with the compilation of a database at an advanced stage.
Mutsvangwa went on to say that the subsidy system which was introduced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year was being abused by unscrupulous business people. However, the wide gap between the market and subsidised prices has created undesirable arbitrage opportunities for some unscrupulous players resulting in the market and supply distortions.
In view of this situation, the Government had no choice but to review the prices upwards to bring the subsidised price to the market price of $70.
Mutsvangwa went on to say that the database for the vulnerable people who would get the coupons is being created by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
She did not reveal the criteria that are being used to identify the vulnerable. You can listen to the minister speaking below:
#PostCabinetMediaBrief On roller supplies, Government is introducing a two-pronged approach that includes: 1. raising the price of the roller meal bags to match market prices and 2. introduce a targeted coupon system in a week to benefit vulnerable members of society. pic.twitter.com/5VDw8V8Rft
— Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting (@InfoMinZW) February 12, 2020
Source – iHarare
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