Commerce Minister Robert Sichinga says he will not hesitate to recommend the dissolution of non-performing Board of Directors of Parastatal companies. Mr Sichinga has given parastatal companies that fall under his Ministry three months to create sector codes, saying Government will impose sector codes if they fail to do so.
He said parastatal companies have a critical role to play in realising the Patriotic Front’s dream of putting more money in people’s pockets through the creation of employment.
Mr Sichinga said this dream cannot be realised if the country fails to create employment for people in the country. The minister was speaking in Lusaka yesterday after conducting a familiarisation tour of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and the Consumer Competition and Protection Commission (CCPC).
He noted that CEEC has not been discharging its mandate to the expectation of the Zambian people saying only 40 percent of its loans were being paid back.
He urged management to ensure that loans it disburses to the people are paid back to service others.
The Minister also urged CEEC to ensure it comes up with a minimum amount of loan for disbursement to public to avoid giving huge sums to one individual.
Mr Sichinga said the PF Government would demand for transparency in the manner empowerment funds were disbursed to the public to ensure equitable distribution of funds among citizens.
He also promised to ensure there was no political interference in the operations of the Commission.
And Mr Sichinga has given parastatal companies that fall under his ministry three months to create sector codes, saying Government would impose sector codes if they failed to do so.
He stated that sector codes were important because they gauged the performance of institutions hence the need for every sector in the country to develop these..
Speaking earlier, CEEC Board Chairperson Overs Banda bemoaned the erratic release of funds to CEEC for its empowerment programmes.
Mr Banda disclosed that Government had this year only released K18 billion of its K40 billion budget saying the K22 billion balance had not yet been released until now.
He said CEEC was ready to support Government in realising its dream of empowering citizens to enable their contribution to the country’s economic development.
Mr Banda said the Commission was fully committed to ensuring that it addressed the economic imbalance existing among people in the country.
Meanwhile, Mr Sichinga has urged the Consumer Competition and Protection Commission (CCPC) to be professional, impartial and to stick to the law in the execution of its mandate.
Mr Sichinga said Government wants zero tolerance to corruption in an effort to ensure that public resources were prudently utilised.
He further urged the Commission to remain steadfast in protecting consumers against counterfeit products that were being imported into the country.
And CCPC Board Chairperson Benard Chiwala said the Commission had set four objectives that it would endeavour to implement in the next five years in a bid to contribute to the country’s economic growth.
Mr Chiwala said the Commission would ensure that there was consumer protection, and that its effectiveness was strengthened.
He said the Commission would further enhance its visibility and ensure that companies complied with the law on competition.