By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
Chamber for Small and Medium Business Association (CSMBA) has asked Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) to clarify on preferences that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will enjoy as stipulated in the PPDA Act.
The chamber is also requesting a clear definition of the 60:40 provision which talks about giving local businesses a chance to access 60 percent of government business.
The calls were made recently at a consultative meeting between the authority and the association in Lilongwe.
CSMBA Executive Secretary, James Chiutsi, said the association looked forward to reaping the most from the new law, but needed clarification on some of the provision.
“Government is the biggest buyer of goods and services in the country and the law talks about preference being given to SMEs but we want to understand, for example, the 60:40 provision. We are not sure what this exactly means and how this will be implemented, so we are waiting for clarification.
“Another issue is on special considerations to SMEs as per Section 36, 1 and 2. Normally, tenders floated by government MDAs are huge, making it impossible for SMEs to execute them. We propose that tenders be floated in lots that can easily be managed by SMEs and we urge that procurement officers in government MDAs should be seen to practice the law; otherwise, SMEs won’t benefit at all,” Chiutsi said.
PPDA Director General, Elias Hausi, said the authority was committed to implementing the 60:40 preferences for allocation of business under National Competitive bidding to indigenous Malawians.
“The PPDA Act of 2017 already provides for that. However, to implement the law, we need regulations on how procurement and disposing entities can use. We are at an advanced stage developing the regulations.
“The process of developing regulations includes consultation with stakeholders which we are carrying out with stakeholders and one of the stakeholders is the Chamber for SMEs,” Hausi said.