22 November 2012

Zambia: ZACCI Wants Two Months Grace Period for Rebasing

THE Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) has called for a two-month grace period for Kwacha rebasing exercise to allow the business community to reconfigure their information technology (IT) systems.

ZACCI president Geoffrey Sakulanda said the Government should give the business community an extension of two months from the changeover date for them to configure their IT equipment, adapt to accounting packages and other related software.

Mr Sakulanda said effective January 1, 2013 the business community should be allowed to display their goods and services in dual prices with a grace period of two months to configure equipment like the point of sale, debit card VISA machines, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and others.

The stakeholders have had almost 12 months to prepare for the rebased Kwacha following the announcement of the planned exercise early this year.

But Mr Sakulanda said in an interview yesterday that it would be technically impossible for the business community to configure their IT equipment and related software ahead of the rebased Kwacha changeover date because the costs were not budgeted for.

Mr Sakulanda explained that since the rebasing exercise was unplanned and unbudgeted for, the business community including the financial sector would incur unbudgeted cost saying that the cost was likely to be passed on to the consumers.

"We have, therefore, made a presentation to the parliamentary committee since rebasing is going to be law effective January 1,2013 to extend the period for the implementation process for the IT equipment to one or two months in order to allow us to prepare adequately and especially configure the IT equipment which needs to be procured," Mr Sakulanda said.

He said extending the exercise would allow for the smooth changeover and implementation process.

"It is going to be easy for a small trader (Kantemba) to comply by displaying dual prices because they have no IT equipment to procure or IT systems to configure but for larger supermarkets and business entities, they will need to procure the IT equipment and accounting packages from the vendors hence the need to extend the implementation process," Mr Sakulanda said.

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