Home » Governance » Gvt Owes U.S $20 Million to Retailers, U.S $28 Million to Pensioners

GOVERNMENT owes the retail sector about US$20 million in monthly remittances from payroll deductions for civil servants on credit to various retail players while its pension’s backlog currently stands at US$28,6 million.

Chairman of the Retail Association and Truworths chief executive Temba Ndebele told delegates at the just ended Imara Investment conference that government’s monthly payroll will go up by the same amount after agreeing that the retail sectors will now collect directly from the civil servants.

Ndebele said as consumers now found themselves with low disposable incomes much responsibility rests on employers who in turn are failing to pay salaries on time. He said the country used to have more than 500 000 customers who are eligible to buy on credit but currently only 250 000 are active due to capital challenges.

Ndebele said Truworths is owed two months remittances amounting to US$240 000 but the risk of non-recovery is minimal.

On the performance of the sector, Ndebele said changes in the sales mix continue to affected operations as players are being forced to operate in lower margin areas.

He said the country also needs to complete the amendment of the labour laws to enable flexibility on employment and retrenchments. “Without proper occupational channel, it will be difficult to retrench, It will take you over 18 months to retrench an ordinary floor worker,” he said.

He however said the retail sector will be the first to recover in the event economy begin to rebound and will recover very quickly.

Meanwhile Government has a pension benefits backlog of US$28.6 million which date back to April last year.

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi who was standing in for Labour Minister Prisca Mupfumira told parliament last week that as at March 31, Government had accumulated arrears of US$28.58 million from 1 513 cases which require lump sums. Mzembi said these amounts had not been paid dating back to April 2014.

According to Public Service Commission’s Client Service Charter the lead time for processing and paying of pension benefits. -FinX

Source : Financial Gazette