Economist commends government step

Banner 3
Banner 3

A Lusaka based Economist Yusuf Dodia has commended government for introducing Statutory Instrument (SI) number 32 of 2013 and has since called for its effective implementation once it comes into effect next month.

At the end of April this year, Minister of Finance Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda signed a Statutory Instrument that brought into force the Bank of Zambia (Monitoring of Balance of Payments) Regulations, 2013 aimed at monitoring Balance of Payments in a transparent and accountable manner.

Government then rescheduled the implementation of the SI from Thursday 16th May, 2013 to Monday 1st July 2013 as contained in SI no 35 of 2013 with the minister saying this would give room to Finance service providers and other relevant stakeholders to establish systems for complying with the provisions of the instrument.

Mr Dodia, who is also the Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) Chairperson, said the new instrument is very important for Zambia as it will give the country an opportunity to account and measure its export resources.

Mr Dodia stressed that SI 32 was critical for the country and should be implemented efficiently come next month when it will be in effect.

“Once the mines, sugar companies, and tobacco firms adhere to this instrument the country will monitor and record exports and match it with the remittance,” he said.

Mr Dodia further said the SI will provide a very good platform for Zambia to diversify the economy and build the capacity of local firms to borrow from banks.

Meanwhile, Mr Dodia has said the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) will be able to meet its target of registering more than 50, 000 companies by the end of the year especially with support from key strategic institutions.

Mr Dodia said the PSDA believes PACRA will only be able to reach its target if key institutions like the Citizen’s Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) lined up their programmes to encourage more companies to register and formalise their businesses.

“The CEEC needs to ensure their programmes are on track, the DBZ must also ensure that their programmes, especially in terms of cost and growth, encourage companies to register because PACRA can’t do it alone,” he said.

Mr Dodia further called on government to actualise the Public Procurement Act (PPA) saying this will see a lot of suppliers register their businesses with PACRA in order to do business with government and win contracts.

He affirmed that with PACRA meeting its target of registering more than 50,000 companies there will be improved business transactions in the country, leading to a strong boost for the local economy.

PACRA last month said it had registered over 7,200 businesses countrywide during the first quarter of 2013 and that it was targeting to register about 60,000 companies by the end of the year.

PACRA Public Relations Officer Vaida Bunda said the agency registered over 30, 000 businesses last year and hoped to double that number this year.