ZimbabweHuchi Uncategorized Mthuli Ncube Slashes Proposed Passport Fee Hike in Budget Session

Mthuli Ncube Slashes Proposed Passport Fee Hike in Budget Session

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Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube found himself in a late-night budget session in parliament, making substantial revisions to Zimbabwe’s 2024 national budget. Amidst pressure, Ncube reduced the proposed passport fee increase from US$200 to US$150, responding to public sentiment and scrutiny.

Effective January 1, 2024, a Zimbabwean passport will cost US$150, marking a 25 per cent increase from the current US$120.

Toll Fees and Wealth Tax Adjustments

Beyond the passport fee adjustment, Ncube also reconsidered plans for a significant toll fee increase, scaling it down from the initially proposed 150 per cent to 50 per cent. Addressing concerns, he stated, “We have lowered these toll fee increases.”

The finance minister faced opposition over the proposed 1 per cent wealth tax, leading to substantial alterations. The tax will now only impact secondary homes valued at a minimum of US$250,000, with an annual cap of US$50,000 for properties exceeding US$5 million. Primary residences remain exempt.

Mthuli Ncube slashes passport fee

Mthuli slashes passport fee-Image Source@zimprofiles

Parliamentary Turmoil and Final Outcome

The session witnessed disruptions, with Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MPs facing ejection and a subsequent four-sitting ban. The budget passed with only Zanu PF MPs present, highlighting the contentious nature of the proceedings.

Future Considerations and Ncube’s Perspective

Looking ahead, Ncube expressed openness to further adjustments, particularly regarding toll fees’ geographical differentials. “We will look into this. We want it to be fair and reflect the fact that the work here should not overly penalize individuals.”

In a final statement, Ncube emphasized the motivation behind the adjustments, stressing the need for resources to modernize border control with the introduction of an e-passport.

Conclusion

The late-night budget session, marked by revisions and tensions, culminated in crucial adjustments to proposed tax plans. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s decision to scale back the passport fee hike and amend toll fees and wealth tax reflects a responsive approach to public and parliamentary concerns.

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