Zambia’s Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) has approved a K 3 billion (US$ 200K) project to digitalise all its records in the hope of ending the “frustrations of missing files and long hours of manual records search”.
The digitalisation programme, scheduled for early next year, will be restricted to businesses that have fulfilled the annual return requirements, according to PACRA.
“It has been decided that all business records relating to companies, sole proprietors and partnerships should be migrated to digital form to make it easier for the agency to conduct record searches. This will entail re-indexing and scanning all documents held in the registry,” PACRA chief executive officer Anthony Bwembyasaid.
Meanwhile firms that did not file their returns were granted a 3-month amnesty from October 1 to December 31 this year.
Bwembya commented: “In case there are those that are still active and would want to remain registered after this exercise, it has been decided that we give them chance to update their annual returns without necessarily having to pay penalties.”
PACRA is an agency of the Zambian Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry mandated to register and protect commercial and industrial property and serve as a legal depository of the information tendered for registration.