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Small businesses yearn to reap from new policy

INTERESTED—Small-scale traders

James Chiutsi

Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) has said implementation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Order, which was gazetted by the Ministry of Trade in December 2020, is advancing.

The order seeks to deliberately reserve some government tenders for micro, small and medium business operators.

PPDA Advisory Services manager Miriam Salika said currently, the authority is training procurement officers in government and its agencies on the arrangement.

Salika said the order is already operational and those willing to do business with the government and its agencies have to obtain certificates from the Ministry of Trade.

“Suppliers who are interested in benefitting from this order are going to the Ministry of Trade to register.

“Ministries, departments and agencies are aware of this order and they know what is to be set aside specifically for micro, small and medium enterprises,” she said.

During the launch, Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe said the process to isolate products and services under the MSMEs Order were transparent.

The sectors reserved for the enterprises include local haulage, poultry, interior design services, stationery, veterinary services, signage and furniture.

Chamber of Small and Medium Business Association Executive Secretary James Chiutsi said the government is yet to communicate about cost of the certificates.

He said some players in the sector applied for the certificates and are waiting for a word from the ministry.

Director of Trade in the Ministry Clement Kumbemba said all the certificates have already been produced but the ministry awaits a gazette notice that specifies amounts of fee for the certificates.

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