THE government has promised that it would reduce time on trading permits for waste metal business and lengthen the lifespan of permits from the current one year to three years.
Speaking at the end of a consultative meeting of government officials and waste metal dealers, Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office (Union and Environment) Ummy Mwalimu said the government wanted to improve this business.
The take-off point is to cut the time for securing trading permits as currently, it takes between five and seven months to get a permit.
She did not give the time within which a trader would get a permit. But she noted that the permit would be valid for three years, up from the present one year.
The minister also assured entrepreneurs that the government valued scrap metal business because it contributed significantly to the GDP. However, she was emphatic on punishing severely dishonest traders.
“The government recognises that this business is important to the growth of the national economy. But we will punish severely dishonest traders by confiscating their permits and taking them to court to face charges of economic sabotage,” she warned.
She, however, appealed to traders to refrain from damaging and trading parts of national installations, especially damaging rails, building, bridges, telecommunications towers and electric transmission lines.
For his part, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Joseph Malongo said local industries needed and must get raw materials locally.
“One strategic source,” he said, “is waste metal within the country.”
He said trade in waste metal would be improved as part of the implementation of the national industrialisation agenda.
Director-General of National Environment Management Council (NEMC), Dr Samuel Gwamaka, said NEMC would produce new regulations that were friendly to metal business based on the inputs of stakeholders, who had attended the consultative meeting.
Delegates complained that it was taking too long to get a permit and the permit fee were very high.
“These are the kind of inputs that will help us formulate new regulations,” he said.
A delegate, Mr Robert Yohani, said duration for getting permits and fees had always been a problem and a source of frustration in doing this business.
“We hope these problems will be history after this meeting,” he said.