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SMEs to get 25% of State contracts


Government has ordered that 25% of all State contracts be awarded to small to medium-scale enterprises to promote the sector’s growth.

This follows the government’s recent gazetting into law of the Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Act.

The move will see to it that government promotes the development of Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country by ensuring proper coordination and implementation of policies, legislation and programmes that have a direct impact on the development of small enterprises.

“. . . ensuring that, when tendering out contracts for the supply of/to the State of goods and services, not less than twenty-five per centum of the value of goods or services to be procured are procured whether by way of the contract or any subcontract there under, by MSMEs, provided that an MSME benefiting from such contracts and subcontracts shall benefit on terms not less favourable than any other contractor or subcontractor,” reads part of the Act.

The Act paves way for the establishment of a Small and Medium Enterprise Advisory Council whose role would be to advise government, local authorities and other statutory bodies on issues relating to small enterprises.

The advisory council would be in a position to evaluate existing and proposed legislation on MSMEs and reports its findings to the minister.

“The Advisory Council may conduct a public inquiry into any matter under its consideration, for which purpose the Council shall have the same powers as commissioners under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, other than the power to order a person to be detained in custody . . .” reads part of the Act.

Through the new law, a Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises Fund will be created to promote and facilitate the establishment and development of small enterprises.

The legislation seeks to facilitate access by MSMEs to capital and finance as well as advance bilateral, regional and international trade and investment prospects.

Last week the government admitted it was not doing enough to support small-to-medium scale enterprises despite their significant contribution to the gross domestic product.

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