Gov’t mounts major crackdown on traders

KIGALI - Government has begun tracking down business operators without trade certificates as well as those who have refused to put price tags on their merchandise, the commerce ministry (Minicom) has revealed. The decision is subsequent to a recent campaign that the ministry carried out countywide to sensitise businesses on the law governing internal trade in Rwanda.
Monique Nsanzabaganwa.
Monique Nsanzabaganwa.

KIGALI - Government has begun tracking down business operators without trade certificates as well as those who have refused to put price tags on their merchandise, the commerce ministry (Minicom) has revealed.

The decision is subsequent to a recent campaign that the ministry carried out countywide to sensitise businesses on the law governing internal trade in Rwanda.

According to Minicom’s communications officer, Albert Bizimana, the ministry has embarked on inspecting businesses to ensure that they conform to the law of pinning price tags on their products and holding a government trade certificate are mandatory among other conditions of doing business.

“We are currently pursuing all businessmen. We want to assess them to see if they have the requisite requirements and fine those who don’t meet them,” said Albert Bizimana.

Though he could not reveal the amount of money the ministry has so far collected from the exercise, Bizimana disclosed that the general attitude by most traders is that they pay little attention to the law.

“It is noticeable that they are yet to conform to the law, most of them don’t even know about it,” he said.

He said that the ongoing campaign to ensure that business operators meet the law provisions is part of efforts to empower them so that they can uplift their level of doing business to cope with competition from the rest of the East African Community (EAC).

“The inspection on trade requirements and price labels will begin today in down-town Kigali and the ministry’s team will be led by Minister Monique Nsanzabaganwa,” Bizimana said.
Nsanzabaganwa is the minister of Trade, Commerce, Investment Promotion and Tourism.

But details on how much money is collected as fines from traders who fail to comply remains a secret until a report by the ministry’s agents on the inspection campaign is published.

“The report needs to be validated before the publication of any details,” said Gaudence Mukamurenzi, who is in charge of Internal Trade with the ministry and part of the inspection team.

A recent survey on the capacity needs of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in 21 districts of the country carried out by the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) indicated that about 80 percent of the 2,100 total sampled businesses lack entrepreneurial skills.

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