By Jameson Chauluka:
Blantyre City Council (BCC) has said it would close all unlicenced business entities when the 2019/20 financial year starts next month.
BCC Director of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Dennis Chinseu, said this during a press briefing at the city’s Civic Offices Tuesday.
Chinseu said BCC expects to license 7,500 business entities in the financial year and raise K520 million.
“Our target is not only on the revenue collection but also to enforce conditions on the licences. We look at safety and security of the people as well as hygiene, especially on those dealing in food,” he said.
Chinseu said there were many laws that govern businesses.
“Section 12 of the Business Licensing Act requires every business entity to have a licence in order to conduct its business activities.
“Licences are renewed at the beginning of every financial year. This implies that all licences currently being used will expire on June 30 2019,” he said.
Chinseu confirmed receiving complaints from local businesspersons that they are being pushed out of business by foreigners.
He, however, said the council had put in place measures to cushion the local businesses from the impact of foreigners.
“You will see that, for locals, we have not changed the fees they are supposed to pay to have their licenses renewed. At the same time, local business people usually have one licence while foreigners have three or more licences whose accumulative cost is higher than the fees paid by locals,” he said.