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Industry laments power woes, fuel scarcity effect

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Lekani Katandula

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), the private sector’s umbrella body, has said priority should be given to businesses when selling fuel to sustain their operations amid scarcity of the commodity.

In an interview, MCCCI President Lekani Katandula said while the business community was advised that the problem would be temporary, more interventions should be made to contain a further spread of the possible effects.

He said in the first three quarters of the year, businesses faced many challenges due to combined effects of power blackouts, foreign exchange shortages and rising inflation.

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“The situation has had a great negative impact on businesses and the economy as alternative sources of energy such as fuel remain expensive and scarce in the country,” Katandula said.

He said most businesses continue to operate below capacity while others spend more on alternative power sources.

According to Katandula, the shortage of foreign exchange has made business operations harder as most have difficulties importing raw materials on time.

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“This is significantly impacting production in the country,” Katandula said.

In a separate interview, Executive Director of the Employers Consultative Association of Malawi George Khaki said productivity has dwindled significantly compounded by reduced aggregate demand for goods and services.

National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises Chairperson William Mwale the country needs to look into short-term and long-term strategies to address the structural challenges it is facing.

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