Small businesses: Unnecessary licences to be done away with: BoI chief | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Small businesses: Unnecessary licences to be done away with: BoI chief

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Tuesday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to Switzerland will expose the true face of India before the international community.

Briefing mediapersons at a joint press conference with Chairman Board of Investment (BoI) Zubair Gilani, she said the Prime Minister in his interaction with world leadership will apprise them of the prevalent situation in Occupied Kashmir and the worst human rights atrocities being committed by India. She said almost five months have passed during which Kashmiris are subjected to numerous restrictions on speech, movement and economic activities.

Referring to the agreement on the name of chief election commissioner, she said parliamentary committee comprising opposition and treasury members has approved names of Chief Election Commissioner and members of ECP with consensus which reflects the true spirit of democracy. She said Parliament is playing a truly democratic role in the country and this understanding between the government and opposition is in public interest. She appreciated the responsible role of opposition which is a great achievement of democracy. She hoped that this decision will help improve reputation of the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Turning to the Prime Minister’s directive to eradicate undue impediments in the way of small businesses in the form of licenses and other requirements, she said this step will help the small traders in doing businesses. She regretted that no one gave attention to problems faced by small traders in the past. She said the requirement of 74 licenses has been abolished which will benefit the small businesses.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman BoI Zubair Gilani said that as part of the government’s local governments’ reforms as well as facilitation of small and vulnerable segment of society, the Prime Minister tasked the BoI to come up with a roadmap to reduce the requirement of unnecessary licenses.

He said that local governments would abolish all the licenses and replace them with a single digital registration of small businesses. However, he said the food outlets would be subject to inspections and licenses.

He said drastic measures would reduce the authority of government officials and minimize the incidents of exploitation of small businessmen, adding that provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are ready to introduce the new measures at grassroots level.

He said complicated license system which creates problem for general stores, cloth shops and Naan shops would be immediately done away with.

Under the Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the provincial governments were directed to do away with requirement of 74 licenses for starting business activities to facilitate the small businesses within three days. The Prime Minister also directed that system of more than 150 licenses required at district level for starting business activities should also be done away with and process for required licenses should be made easier and an automated system should be adopted by using the latest technology.

The Prime Minister was informed on Monday that over 150 kinds of different licenses are required in the existing system in different metropolitan corporations, municipal corporations, town committees and other departments for business and this system is replete with corruption and common complaint is of harassment by the small businesses.

The chairman BOI further disclosed that the Special Economic Zone Act would be updated and revamped shortly with special focus on the growth of medium enterprises.

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