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Slow implementation of doing business reforms

KEIKANTSE LESEMELA
Mmolawa
Implementation of Doing Business Reforms are progressing slowly despite the granting of relevant approvals by various stakeholders, the Ministry of Trade and Industry chief commercial officer, Gideon Mmolawa said.

Speaking at the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) Doing Business Reforms workshop held in Gaborone on Tuesday, Mmolawa said government had approved certain reforms, but there has not been any implementation of the reforms.

“The reforms have been approved, but they have not yet been implemented, the relevant authorities are still working on the implementation processes. The task team has approved all these proposed reforms in December last year.

“Some reforms approved include reduction of company registration times to three days, introduction of deadlines for provision of services, reduction of tax payments frequencies and the number of requirements of documents by government organisation,” he explained.

Botswana slipped eight positions down the latest Ease of Doing Business rankings with paying taxes, access to electricity and credit cited as among the major hindrances to conducting business in the country.

The Doing Business report sheds light on how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to

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open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations.

Mmolawa further said the reforms included the process of limiting the number of licenses issued, especially to sectors, which do not pose a threat to health and safety.

“We want fewer number of licenses. We will not license every business, but we are looking at retaining restrictions for businesses that might have harmful implications to environment and people,” he said.

The World Bank’s 2015 Doing Business report has indicated that out of 189 countries surveyed, Botswana is now placed at position 74 from a revised position of 66 last year.

The World Bank report also indicated that to improve regulation strategies in Botswana, government needed to improve the regulatory environment to ensure that regulations were necessary and cost effective, and also improve its accountability, and ability to achieve important public policy goals through more effective and lower cost regulation



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