Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has embarked on a consumer protection project to enhance its legal and technical capacity to enforce competition and fair trading principles.
The project titled Technical Assistance in the Enhancement of Competition and Consumer Protection Regulation in Malawi, which started this month, is funded by the European Union to the tune of 300 000 euro (about K280 million).
In a statement, CFTC director of consumer affairs Lewis Kulisewa said competition and consumer protection law enforcement is still underdeveloped; hence, enforcement has faced a number of challenges.
He said the major challenge CFTC faces is inadequate money as it largely relies on government subvention supported by little internally-generated resources through statutory fees and fines.
Said Kulisewa: “One key output of this project is the development and operationalisation of the integrated information management system [IMS] resulting in automation of the commission’s operations.
“The IMS is expected to have, among others, the digital complaint form for submission of complaints on competition and consumer protection violations.”
On her part, Ministry of Trade Principal Secretary Christina Zakeyo said government wants to stimulate innovation, productivity and competitiveness and also generate economic growth and employment.
She said by strengthening the competition and consumer protection regime, the EU is levelling the playing field for all businesses and creating opportunities for small and medium enterprises to thrive.
Said Zakeyo: “We expected the automation project to lead to substantial improvements in the delivery and accessibility of the commission’s services.
“Competition provides incentives for firms to perform efficiently, producing high-quality goods and services at affordable prices while creating sustaining jobs.”
Other deliverables in the project include the review of inconsistent sectoral laws and aligning them with the competition and consumer protection law and policy to enhance market regulation and monitoring.