The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says the forex allotment backlog worth millions of dollars from the first 93 auctions has been cleared.
In an interview with NewsDay Business on the sidelines of the launch of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) second edition annual State of Industry and Commerce Survey 2022 on Thursday, RBZ deputy governor Innocent Matshe, said:
The backlog that we experienced… has been cleared. Now, I am not talking about delays, I am talking about the backlog.
That backlog was sterilised up to auction 93… we are now working to reduce the time to say when allotments are made, and allotments are run, and the time for the recipient of the allotment to receive money in foreign currency accounts.
I don’t want to give a figure of how much the backlog was, but it was substantial.
Matshe said the applications for foreign currency on the auction have gone down from an average of US$50 million to US$10 million. He said:
What companies are complaining about now is not a backlog, but a delay, and that delay is caused by the process that we go through in allocating foreign currency. It doesn’t come every day so we distribute it as it comes.
The idea is, forex is in the system, we can see it, and it is there, but we have to distribute it and that process takes time.
Now, going forward, that backlog has been cleared, we are going to work on clearing the allotments in something like 14 days.
So, you will still receive complaints about delays up to next year but that will narrow down.
The RBZ established the forex auction system in June 2020 for companies to manage the allocation of foreign currency to use for productive purposes.
However, the central bank failed to allocate funds to all successful bidders timeously resulting in a huge backlog with companies having to wait months on end before receiving their allotments. | NewsDay