SI 64 remains in place — Bimha

Source: SI 64 remains in place — Bimha | The Herald May 23, 2017

Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter-
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Mike Bimha has said Statutory Instrument
64 of 2016 that controls imports which local industry has capacity to
produce, will remain in place as long as there is need to protect
vulnerable firms. SI 64 was promulgated last year as local industry
buckled under competition from low priced and cheap imports, as a measure
to restrict the importation of goods that could be manufactured locally,
as well as to promote consumption of local goods.

Dr Bimha said the policy had benefited a lot of companies, pointing out
that his office was being inundated with applications from manufacturers
requesting more products to be added on the list of products that require
a licence to import.

In an interview with The Herald on the sidelines of a Hanawa Super Foods
plant tour yesterday, Dr Bimha said the policy would remain in place
depending on local industry’s ability to meet local demand.

“There is no tenure for SI 64,” he said. “It varies from product to
product, sector to sector; that is why I am saying a report from the
evaluation committee will give us information that can help us, to say for
this sector, how long can we go because we need facts that are objectively
derived.”

Dr Bimha said the regulatory measure had given local industry a lifeline.

“Many local manufacturers had managed to retool and re-equip, with others
coming forward for assistance on how they can benefit from the policy,” he
said. “SI 64 is meant to give room to retool and re-equip. You cannot do
this in six months or one year.

“It would be ironical for Government to say we are putting up a measure to
allow companies to retool and re-equip and then only after a year we say
we are going to scrap it off, it does not make sense. SI 64 is still here
to stay.”

Dr Bimha said that several companies that have benefited from SI 64 and
have increased production capacity, created employment, increased market
share, as well as improved competitiveness.

Other companies such as Hanawa, Dr Bimha said, came into existence as a
result of regulating imports through SI64.
However, there still is rampant smuggling of goods into the country,
including those on the SI 64 list.

Dr Bimha said Government was cognisant of such and, therefore, established
an inter-ministerial committee to tackle smuggling.
Hanawa managing director Mr Simbarashe Zhou said his company had benefited
from SI 64 and called for the regulation to remain effective.

“Implementation of SI 64 was a major boost for us,” he said. “It must stay
forever. It will definitely motivate industry development.”

Hanawa is a potato crisps producer.

Mr Zhou said the potatoes required in crisps making were in short supply
in the country.
The company, he said, would apply for an import permit to bring in the
potatoes from South Africa until its local potato out-growers start making
deliveries in September.

Dr Mike BimhaStatutory Instrument 64 of 2016

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