Industry Minister Mike Bimha announced that they are relaxing import restrictions on basic commodities ahead of the festive season. He said that his ministry is ready to process permits and licences for those that have funds to import basic commodities.
What we would want to announce today is that, we want to call upon companies and individuals who have free funds to import basic commodities and my ministry is ready to process permits and licences to that effect. You will recall that some of the basic commodities were removed from the Open General Import Licence and were now covered under various Statutory Instruments including SI 64 of 2016. But as we had said time and time again these SIs such SI64 of 2016 were not intended to ban the importation of products but were intended to regulate their importation and where we believe that there is demand exceeding supply we will obviously want to facilitate the importation of such commodities which is the case in point because of the demand as a result of the coming festive season and again because of the limited foreign currency available to local producers we would want to make sure that those with free funds be they individuals or companies they should come forward to obtain the necessary permits and licences to bring products into the market.