GOVERNMENT has been implored to consider reducing import duty on electric cars to reduce the country’s fuel import bill.
Presenting the 2023 pre-budget priorities for the energy sector on Monday, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy Elias Musakwa said adoption of hybrid cars would reduce carbon emissions in the country.
“The 2023 budget should consider reducing import duty for hybrid cars to reduce the demand for petroleum in the country. This will also reduce the import bill on fuel. The adoption of electric vehicles is another alternative to save the consumption of fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions as well,” Musakwa said.
It said the 2023 national budget should improve strategic fuel reserves to at least 90 days cover.
“As a revenue-raising measure, all fuel stations selling in foreign currency should pay their bills and taxes in foreign currency. The same should happen in electricity billing. Firms including NGOs (non-governmental organisations), embassies, among others should be billed in foreign currency in a bid to increase foreign currency earnings.”
On electricity, the committee said government should focus on the rehabilitation of existing power stations using resources from electricity sales, adding that Hwange Thermal Power Station had gone beyond its designed 30-year lifespan by eight years.
“Mini-hydro power plants should be constructed on Osborne dam, Mazvikadei Dam, Manyuchi Dam, Tugwi-Mukosi Dam, Lake Kyle, Siya Dam and Shangani Dam. Nyanga district has vast amounts of falling water which can be harnessed and used for power generation.”