Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
THE Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operatives Development is willing to work with Government departments that promote the growth of small to medium businesses as this cohesion can contribute to the growth of the economy.
This comes after revelations that small to medium enterprises now make up about 70 percent of registered taxpayers, contributing about 20 percent to tax revenue, according to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operatives Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said her ministry was happy with the way SMEs were now contributing to the growth of the economy through meeting their tax obligations.
“I am very happy that there has been a positive contribution by SMEs to the national revenue and the economy. It is the result of a collaboration between Zimra and my ministry that has made all this possible,” said Minister Nyoni.
She said the ministry dispatched a team that was working with the revenue collector to help register SMES.
“Since my ministry and Zimra dispatched a team that went around the country helping to register SMEs, in three months we managed to register about
6 000 SMEs which is commendable. It shows that if the departments work with us we could help each other achieve big,” Minister Nyoni said.
She also said this was going to add value to the sector as more opportunities were going to open.
“There are obviously advantages that come for SMEs as they are now formal, they are now known and that will help them get services like loans and linkages with other SMEs,” said Mrs Nyoni.
Zimbabwe Chamber of SMEs secretary-general Mr Robson Hove said it was commendable that the country is now benefiting from the operations of the sector.
He said SMEs were encouraged to formalise because of a number of incentives that were promised by the Government.
“SMEs had the right to know the incentives of contributing to the fiscus and that is what encouraged most of them to comply.
One of the notable incentives is that presumptive tax will go to Sedco so that SMEs will get loans. We know that the Ministry of Finance offered amnesty in the form of a moratorium,” Mr Hove said.
Mr Hove, however, said more support was needed from the Government if SMEs are to become the engine of economic turnaround.
“More support is still needed to support the SMEs because the truth is that it is very challenging to operate an SME. We appreciate the reduction of presumptive tax and moratoriums that were given to SMEs but it is not enough as operational costs are still too high,” he said.