Local entrepreneurs have added their weight to the amended Procurement and Asset Disposal Bill, urging President Arthur Peter Mutharika to assent to the bill, which they say will help to build capacity on the local traders.
The traders say the amended bill will help in building the capacity amongst them, thereby, contributing to the social-economic development of the country.
Addressing members of the press in Lilongwe recently, the local entrepreneurs hailed Members of Parliament for passing the bill, which now requires consent from the Head of State to become into law.
“We applaud Parliament for passing the bill, which, if assented by the President will give government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) powers to buy 60 percent of procurement needs from local entrepreneurs. We hope the leadership will assent the bill into law to give it teeth.
“Its high time local entrepreneurs get a fair share of the cake, which has mostly been enjoyed by non-indigenous business persons and large corporations,” said president of Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Smea) James Chiutsi.
Vice president of Indigenous Medical Suppliers Association (Imsesa), Arthur Sungitsa said giving 60 percent of procurement needs to local Malawians would help in building capacity amongst local traders, who have been looked at as incapable to meet the demands.
“The capacity is there amongst the locals but they have been lacking support from the government, which is the main buyer of goods and services. The non-indigenous or large corporate businesses have grown because of the support they receive from government and if the same treatment is given to the locals, they will grow into large corporative and contribute to the country’s social-economic development,” said Sungitsa.
Sungitsa, however, urged the government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to honour payments in good time so as not to kill the local businesses.
“The locals are accused of lacking capacity but sometimes it is the government that contributes to the lack of capacity by failing to honour payments in good time. Government should also improve its capacity in honouring payments,” said Sungitsa.