The Private sector now wants the government the high cost of doing business to facilitate the realization of the envisaged rate of production and job creation.
Stakeholders have raised concern over the rising cost of production as the energy regulatory body further increased their tariffs at a time when the country was still reeling from the after shocks of the Covid 19 pandemic ,the ravages of climate change and the effects of the war in Ukraine.
, Bidco The company Group Director Chris Diaz said the edible oil producer keeping afloat in the turbulent economic times but asked state actors to work with speed to stabilize the business environment by making it more conducive and attractive to investors. .
He said most companies were not comfortable with the current cost of power, huge inflation, high taxation and the shortage of the US dollar in the market and urged the government to facilitate the enactment of policies that could streamline and make ease of doing business in the country feasible.
Daiz expressed fears that some manufacturers might be forced to reduced their workforce due to low income flows affecting their profit margins unless drastic measures were placed to cushion investors who really on imported raw materials. .
“We cannot get enough of our main raw material, crude palm oil due to the dollar shortages. We have to rely on imports from global exporters and are expensive. The cost of power is also threatening production,” Diaz noted.
He at the same time called for the harmonization of tax tariffs among Comesa countries for ease in doing business, saying in most cases, local manufacturers are disadvantaged by being made to pay more.
To stay afloat and competitive, the Director said they are working on a programme to manufacture affordable products targeting various cadres of customers.
This, he said, involves stocking various sizes of products in the shelves in the smallest of quantities so as to reach the very low of the customer cost-wise.
“For instance, if it’s cooking oil, we are now stocking from the highest number of litres to very lowest, so as not to lock out some target customers out of our products,” he said.
He also called on farmers who have sunflower, cornflower and soybeans to sell them at the company to ease product availability.
Leonard Mambo, a representative from the Trade and Investment Ministry said the government is working on improving value chains in various industry sectors in order to save the manufacturing sector from crashing.
He said the oil seeds sector employs more than 40,000 people directly and that the government will provide incentives and interventions to save it from economic shocks.
Among the interventions, he said, involves ensuring availability of raw materials and reducing overreliance on importations.
“Through supporting the different value chains in the various manufacturing sub-sectors, the government will seek to save the companies from the financial turbulence being witnessed world over,” Mambo said.
By Muoki Charles