Gwengwe says Govt will close businesses without permits

Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe says the ministry will be inspecting businesses and will immediately close down all business premises found without necessary permits.

The Minister on Wednesday advised businesspersons to have their businesses registered in order to continue operating.

“I wish to remind the business community that the business licencing Act empowers the Ministry of Trade to license all Non-Malawian owned businesses and limited companies whereas, businesses owned by Malawians are licensed by the Local Authorities, I therefore encourage the business community to contact the Ministry and the local Authorities and ensure that their businesses are properly registered,” said Gwengwe.

The minister disclosed that two weeks ago the ministry of Trade in conjunction with the Department of immigration and citizenship services, and the police conducted business inspection exercise within Lilongwe city.

Gwengwe said they conducted the exercise to monitor compliance with the relevant pieces of legislation that guide the operation of businesses in the country such as the Business Licensing Act, taxation Act and Immigration Act among others.

“I wish to inform you that following the exercise we conducted the Ministry has closed down a total of 10 business premises due to among other things operating without a valid licenses and failure to disclose important documents such as certificate of Registration/incorporation and Tax Registration certificate amongst others.

“Following the above action, I would like to implore upon all business owners in Malawi to ensure that they comply and have all requisite Government documents/licences/permits that allows them to conduct their businesses in Malawi,” said Gwengwe.

He further added that his ministry will continue with the inspection exercise and will immediately close down all business premises found without requisite documents.

“l am aware that some traders blatantly undermine the law by reopening the shops even after they have been closed down by the Ministry. I want to issue a stern warning that the long arm of the law will catch up with you and those that are aware that they are operating without these necessary documents should immediately obey and follow the procedures,” he said.

On regulation of the Poultry sector, Gwengwe said the government has brought sanity to poultry industry. He then directed the big poultry companies to limit their activities to wholesale sales and other designated areas.

He added that that the retail business of chicken will be restricted to Malawians to give them an opportunity to do business.