Sugar Bill to be Ready Soon - Minister
New minister of industry has vowed to engage the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs to ensure the sugar bill is passed and made operational as quickly as possible.
Mr Roy Kachale Banda says currently the bill is at the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs for vetting but the industry ministry will push for a speedy vetting process.
He made the remarks on Tuesday when he visited Illovo Sugar Africa Limited head office in Limbe to appreciate the way the sugar producer is operating as the minister continues to visit various companies and industries to appreciate operations.
"Am glad to report to you that the sugar bill is now at the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs for vetting but I'll personally push for a speedy process because this bill is very important," said Kachale.
During the visit at Illovo, Kachale also assured the company of government's support to ensure the company which has employed over 14 thousand people continues operations.
"Illovo is one of the biggest employers in Malawi and one of the biggest taxpayer and the visit was aimed at encouraging the company to continue employing more Malawians," added the minister.
Illovo Sugar Africa Managing Director Lekani Leslie Katandula expressed optimism that the sugar bill once passed will promote health competition among players in the industry.
Before visiting Illovo, Kachale also toured Tehila Bakery and Value Addition Center where the institution is making bread and other confectioneries from sweet potato; the move that is helping to reduce costs incurred when importing materials from outside the country.
However, the institution's Managing Director Jean Pankuku has bemoaned tough conditions which regulatory and utility bodies impose for them to render services.
"What we are asking from government is to provide some incentives. These crops are locally grown by our farmers and when we are producing commercial products we are providing market for our farmers and we are providing for import substitution so we want government to make deliberate effort to provide incentives," said Pankuku.
Currently, Tehila Bakery is selling its bread in big shops such as Shoprite.