State to review MSME policy

THE Government will review and re-align the Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSME) policy to the country’s developmental programme. Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Robert Sichinga said the current industrial and fiscal policies do not respond to the specific requirements of the MSME sector.

Mr Sichinga said for a long time, the MSMEs have been left out in the development of the economy due to the existing fiscal, industrial and other policies which do not necessarily prioritise the sector.

He said the absence of a sound regulatory and fiscal regime coupled with an unfriendly business environment was identified as a set back in the growth of the sector. In a speech read for him by the chief economist Boniface Kunda during the 10th Annual General meeting for the Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Associations (ZCSMBA), Mr Sichinga said the Government would strive to implement comprehensive and sound policies in order to improve the business environment.

“I am fully aware that the previous Government launched the MSME policy along with its implementation plan in 2010.This is commendable as the policy is intended, among other things, to provide the necessary framework within this subsector can be promoted and developed.

“All I can say at this point in time is to give us a little more time to review and align this and many other policies to our national developmental programme,” he said. Mr Sichinga reiterated the Government’s commitment to support and pursue progressive polices regardless of who initiated them.

Speaking at the same function ZCSMBA vice chairperson Dorothy Mulwila said the launch of the MSME policy by the previous Government was an important step towards creating the desired enabling environment. She said the next step should be to review the relevant legislation with a view to providing necessary legal space to the policy and the allocation of resources for its implementation “What the sector yearns to see is an Act of parliament that will oblige Government and other key players to mobilise and commit resources for its development,” she said. Ms Mulwila said regulatory changes if implemented would make it easier for MSMEs to operate. / ends times of zambia



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