The Single Licensing Agency
The ‘’E-Licensing Project and transformational initiatives to enhance business environment” has been initiated to address key constraints to business facilitation due to heavy regulatory frameworks and institutional bureaucracy. The four main components of the project are namely: E-licensing Platform; Business Process Re-Engineering exercise; Regulatory Review; and Change Management Programme.
In this respect, a single licensing Agency under the supervision of the Economic Development Board (“EDB”) will be set up to establish a one-window system for investors applying for business permits and licences.
The Companies Act will be amended to:
- Make provision for an offence being committed by a director for breach of duty where the director fails to disclose that he has an interest in a transaction or a proposed transaction with the company. On conviction, the Director will be liable to a fine of up to Rs. 100,000 and to imprisonment for a term of up to 1 year.
- Make provision for the Annual Report of a company to also mention any major transaction which took place during the accounting period to which it refers
- Provide that where the Registrar restores a company on his own motion, the requirement to give public notice in 2 daily newspapers will no longer apply to avoid unnecessary costs in relation to publication
- Eliminate the requirement for a certificate of current standing to contain a statement regarding payment of licence fees as same are no longer applicable
- Allow for disclosure and availability of Beneficial Ownership Information following enquiries related to Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism
- Allow for enhanced protection to minority shareholders
- Allow for more transparency to shareholders
- Allow for recovery of outstanding fees during liquidation process.
The setting up of a Single Licensing Agency would shorten time line for new business coming into operations. Road decongestion program all over the island would facilitate transportation and movement of human capital and capital goods hence spreading development over the regions, together with incentives provided would encourage entrepreneurship.
The initiatives taken in the budget are welcomed, but we will be able to assess the real impact only after implementation of the initiatives