THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has increased daily and weekly bond note withdrawal limits to US$100 and US$300 respectively to ensure that the banking public is not continuously constrained by the lower withdrawal limits. Prior to this, bond notes withdrawal limits were at US$25 and US$50 per day and $150 per week.
This comes as the bank said it had, to date, released bond notes valued at US$29 million, as part of the 5 percent export incentive scheme with tobacco farmers having now received their full allocation.
“We trust that these measures will go a long way towards making it easy for the public to transact during the festive season,” Governor John Mangudya said in a statement.
Banks such as Barclays and recently MBCA have weekly withdrawal limits ranging from US$250 to US$300. However very few banks are sticking to the set daily withdrawal limits with CBZ at US$40, Standard Chartered US$50 at the ATM and US$25 in bond notes Over the Counter.
According to Mangudya, in line with the gradual and measured approach to disburse bond notes into the market on a drip-feed basis, bond notes valued at US$12 million were disbursed during the week ending December 16, 2016. This brings the total amount of bond notes disbursed from commencement on November 28 to December 16, 2016 to US$29 million.
Mangudya also said all tobacco growers who sold their tobacco this year through the auction floors, including contracted tobacco growers, have now benefited from the five percent export incentive scheme. “This move is expected to provide impetus to tobacco farmers to continue with both reaping and processing of this season’s tobacco crop.” he said.
He added that the Central Bank is encouraged by the smooth circulation within the domestic economy of bond notes which were primarily introduced to finance the export incentive scheme of up to five percent payable to exporters of goods and services and Diaspora remittances.
He said a cumulative total of US$6,2 million bond notes have been deposited by the banking public at banks as at the 16th of December 2016.
“Against this background, bond notes shall fortuitously and subserviently go a long way to mitigate cash shortages within the economy. Clearing of cash queues at banks can never be an overnight event. It is a process,” he said.
Mangudya also the RBZ is encouraged by the manner in which the banking public continues to embrace the use of plastic money. In that regard, he said financial institutions and other service providers should ensure that point of sale and other electronic payment facilities are spread throughout the country.