Kasambara tables business registration bill in Parliament

Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ralph Kasambara, on Tuesday tabled an amandment of   business registration Bill in Parliament, saying it seeks to facilitate the establishment of an electronic business registration to improve efficiency when it comes to business registration.

Kasambara explained that  computerized business registration data base will allow for a reduced time and cost of registering businesses in the country.

“Computerized database will help in facilitating government’s effort to improve electronic government services. Furthermore, it will improve business delivery in the country,” Kasambara said.

Kasambara: Amendment

The current business registration bill uses manual data base which makes it difficult to verify names of businesses thus having multiple business registration with the same name.

He also added that the registration data base will be available to the general public so that they should be able to know the number of businesses that are registered and the names used to abolish the use of similar names.

Member of Parliament for Lilongwe South East, Willard Gwengwe commended government for the revisions in the bill which he said are likely to improve the business environment in the country.

He said the measures that have been taken will enable government to check the system to prevent abuse of names by people in the office.

Gwengwe said this following a requirement in the bill which says that no person shall be allowed to register a name containing the word government, authority, council or any other name which suggest link to a higher authority.

“As Malawi Congress Party (MCP), we look forward to this bill. It is our hope that it will improve the business environment for the better in the country and it will not give room to abuse of power,” said Gwengwe.

In support of the bill, MP for Nsanje North, Frank Viyazyi said the bill is a good gesture in encouraging businesses that are not formalized to register and those registered to follow the rule of law.

In addition, Viyazgi said it will enable the registrar to scrutinize owners of businesses that are in breach with the law and for the government to keep track of the number of businesses available in the country.

However, Kasambara has been advised not to generalize fines for people in conflict with the law but that the size of the business should be the factor to determine the kind of punishment.

Furthermore, the government has also been advised not to use the bill in victimizing opposition parties when they want to register.

Parliament among others passed the investment and Export promotion bill that legalizes establishment of Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC).

The house is also expected during this sitting to discuss the business licensing bill and Malawi Bureau of standards bill.

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