THE Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) has de-registered about 1,500 defaulting businesses, while more than 20,000 entities filed in their returns between October 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013.
PACRA public relations officer Vaida Bunda said the agency had de-registered about 1,500 defaulting businesses countrywide for failure to respond to submit their annual returns even during the amnesty.
"We had warned that all defaulting companies and businesses that would not respond within the period of the amnesty would not have their records migrated to digital form and that they would be de-registered without further notice.
"You may wish to note that the agency has made various efforts and announcements for these businesses to file their returns but they did not come forward," Ms Bunda said.
Ms Bunda said all those companies that were de-registered but wished to come back on the system are expected to start the registration process again.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Bunda said more than 20,000 businesses had filed their returns between October 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013.
Ms Bunda commended the business entities for responding to the gesture of goodwill and would like to urge them to comply with the requirement to file annual returns even in the future.
The agency is digitalising all it documentations.
"It is our desire to contribute to economic growth and the process has reached an advanced stage. Digitalising of all our paper records will not only eliminate incidences of missing files and documents but will make the process of conducting business record searches much faster as opposed to the current practice," she said.
Presently, the agency holds about 304,520 files relating to registered businesses.
Ms Bunda said the Secretary to the Cabinet had directed the agency to take a lead in ensuring that all
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) owned by Zambians are registered with PACRA for them to benefit from the Government's preferential treatment in line with the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) Act.
Under the provisions of the CEEC Act, Public institutions are supposed to give preferential treatment to Zambian-owned enterprises when procuring goods and services.
In this regard, Ms Bunda said the agency would be undertaking countrywide mobile registration exercises targeted at MSMEs beginning with Lusaka.
"On the other hand, PACRA has begun implementing this directive on preferential treatment of Zambian owned enterprises but focusing only on those that are registered," Ms Bunda said.