Government has suspended import duty on powdered milk and bottler grade sugar brought into the country by approved importers until June 30 this year.
According to the Government Gazette of April 5, the suspension was made in terms of section 235 as read with section 120 of the Customs and Excise Act.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa approved seven dairy companies to import powdered milk which is used to manufacture milk and milk products.
Companies that will import the milk include Kefalos Cheese Products, Dairibord Zimbabwe, Lyons, Dendairy, Nestle, Alpha Omega and ProBrands Limited.
Minister Chinamasa introduced duty on milk products when he announced the budget in November last year. This was in response to the country’s milk industry which was suffering due to stiff competition from imports.
However, low production has meant the industry has failed to meet the country’s milk demands.
Government also suspended duty on bottler grade sugar. This is high grade sugar used in the manufacture of carbonated beverages.
Approved importers include Schweppes Zimbabwe limited, Delta beverages and Mutare Bottling Company.
Local sugar manufacturers have also not been able to produce enough sugar to meet demand. The suspension of duty on Bottler grade sugar and powdered milk will help companies meet production targets.