Informal sector sends SOS to Govt

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Government should assist the informal sector to register their businesses through facilitation of documentation to register companies and tax clearances in fulfilment of President Mnangagwa’s call to ensure that the enterprises formalise their business before reopening, legislators heard yesterday.

Some of the Government interventions required the decentralisation of functions and offices in several districts dotted across the country to save the informal sector from the burden and cost of travelling to Harare to register.

This was said by the Zimbabwe Integrated Traders Association while giving oral evidence before Parliament’s portfolio committee on Industry and Commerce chaired by Zaka Central legislator, Cde Davison Svuure (Zanu-PF).

ZITC national treasurer Ms Precious Masodzi said there was need for the Government to help in coming up with policies promoting and protecting small businesses.

“The call made by President Mnangagwa to formalise businesses is a welcome move to achieve Vision 2030 of becoming a middle income economy. However, we are facing challenges to acquire the needed documents such as tax clearance, company registration with the relevant offices centralised only in Harare. It has also come to our attention that tax clearance is issued to businesses that are not in compliance with the tax regulations of acquiring such, shortchanging the Government in its effort to collect tax from Small to Medium Enterprises and the informal sector,” she said.

ZITC secretary general Mr Henry Samapenda said there was need to reserve some sectors of the economy for indigenous persons. He said sectors like hair salons, retail, clothing among others should be reserved for Zimbabweans.

Mr Samapenda said there was also need for Government to facilitate forging of business alliances with their counterparts in the region.

However, legislators said the Government had already gone a long way in ensuring that some sectors were reserved for locals.

Chiredzi North MP Cde Royi Bhila (Zanu-PF) said Government had enacted the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Act which reserved several sectors for locals.

The object of the law is to provide for the promotion, entry, protection and facilitation of investment, to provide for the establishment of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, through provision of the One Stop Investment Services Centre.–

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