THE Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) has called on Government to quicken the enforcement of a Statutory Instrument (SI) that will restrict importation of goods and raw materials that are locally available.
Government should also consider increasing duty on all imported raw materials and products while a long- term measure on the issuance of the SI was being worked out.
Rampant importation of finished products including raw materials that could be obtained locally, has stifled growth of the manufacturing industry in the face of stiff competition.
Chamber vice president-north, Raj Karamchand said Government should enforce a policy that would address challenges characterising the local manufacturing industry to promote growth in the sector.
“There is a serious need by the Government to restrict the filtering of raw materials and finished products into the country, because this process is stifling growth of our local manufacturing industry.
“In the interim Government should raise the import duty on all raw materials and products being imported into the country, while a long-term measure would be to issue an SI that will completely ban this exercise,” Mr Karamchand said.
He said there was need to promote local content to benefit the Zambian industries if the creation of wealth and jobs was to be realised.
Recently, Commerce, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Miles Sampa issued a one month ultimatum for companies in the manufacturing industry to stop importing raw materials and products that were readily available on the local market.
Mr Sampa warned that if the companies did not abide by the directive; Government would be forced to issue an SI that will compel them to source raw materials and finished goods locally.
“Government has given a one month ultimatum to manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services to ensure that raw materials were locally sourced.
“If companies especially mimning firms, do not abide by this ultimatum, Government will be forced to issue an SI that would compel them to buy raw materials locally because it is not in order for them to import products that are readily available on the local market,” Mr Sampa said.
Times of Zambia