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MSME registration law in the pipeline

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The Ministry of Trade and Industry has said it is developing a bill to regulate micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

This, the ministry says, will ensure enhanced MSMEs participation in public procurement processes.

This follows revelations that the number of registered MSMEs, who have acquired certificates from the ministry, has grown to 2,636 from 168 in July last year.

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Ministry of Trade spokesperson Mayeso Msokera said implementation of the MSME order has been progressing well as most MSMEs are showing interest in participating in public procurement which is a catalyst for their growth.

“We need to carry out these sensations as an on-going activity so that we bring on board a lot of SMEs. We sensitise them and make them aware of some of the key provisions as well as the initiatives that government is already implementing. we are talking about the implementation of the MSME order, which prescribes the reservations of certain procurements in the public sector,” Msokera said.

During a recent Tikweze Business Clinic organised by Times Group, MSMEs lamented bureaucracy as one of the major setbacks and suggested establishment of one-stop shops where they could find all agencies they require to register such as the Ministry, the Registrar’s office, the Malawi Revenue Authority and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority.

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In a recent interview, SME Chamber Executive Director James Chiutsi said the order just started to bear fruits, but more needs to be done.

“One of the requirements by buying ministries, departments and agencies is to produce their buying plans for a period. We haven’t seen that yet. Also, procurement reports for the period have also not been available. The other huge problem is that payments are still massive,” Chiutsi said.

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