GOVERNMENT has been forced to lift the ban on some imported products due to the inefficiency of the local producers, says the Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) chairperson Yusuf Dodia.
Mr Dodia said the idea behind Government decision to ban some imported products was to encourage domestic industry to develop through sheer hard work.
“The private sector cannot be forced to do things in a certain way, and Government only tries to play the role of a facilitator and when it sees that it is not working, that’s when it lifts the ban because it has to look after its citizens.
“Should a consumer pay K65 for a 2.5 litres of cooking locally made or should he pay K30 for a 2.5 litres imported, why must a consumer pay double because of the inefficiency of the local producer?’’ he asked.
Mr Dodia said Government was also forced to lift the ban after observing that local companies were being inefficient.
He said the challenge with banning imports in some way made the economy lazy because local investors did not improve their businesses.
“Banning of imports makes local investors and the economy lazy because the private sector does not take advantage of Government’s incentive to improve their businesses,” he said.
He however said it was unfortunate that the private sector did not use its position to strengthen businesses but ended up exploiting consumers with exorbitant prices of goods.
Mr Dodia said the local investors were only interested in how they would make profit instead of investing in long- term survival of their businesses.
“Government decided to ban the import of edible oils, for local investors to develop their industries, create employment and bring technology in the country so that the edible oils industry would grow in Zambia,” he said.
Government last week lifted the ban on importation of edible oils.