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Business News of Friday, 30 October 2015

Source: GNA

Private sector complains of delay in acquiring permit

The Private Sector Federation (PEF) has expressed worry about delays in the processes of acquiring licenses and permits for their business operations across the country.

The Federation noted that the delays caused in acquiring licenses and permits affects the economic growth of their businesses and prevents investors from investing in the country.

Nana Osei Bonsu, Chief Executive Officer of PEF said this in Accra at a media encounter on the processes of acquiring licenses and permits in the country.

He said the procedures of acquiring licenses and permits for business operators are key determinant of private sector development and economic growth and the mode of implementation of these documents have great effects on the private sector.

Mr Bonsu said in 2009, the USAID in partnership with the Federation sponsored a research to establish all licensing and permit requirements affecting businesses.

He said the study showed that a total of 145 or more business licenses or permit requirements were in force and affected businesses to varying degrees.

He explained that the federation noticed that addressing all 145 license or permits at once may be difficult and therefore decided to identify those that affect all businesses with support of the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge.

The study, conducted in 2010/2011 identified six of the licensing or permits requirements administered by respective agencies in including two departments from Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana National Fire Service, Office Inspectorate and two departments from the Town and Country Planning Department.

He said the study revealed that all the six agencies were under staff and lack logistics to carry out their duties effectively.

Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, Chairman of PEF said the Federation in a discussions with officials of the Town and Country Planning Department recommended the amendment of Cap 84 of 1945 to permit the department to retain all or a greater per centage of user fees and charges paid by applicants.

Other recommendations included the decentralisation of the applications processes through the use of an electronic or internet platform with complementary bank accounts to receive application fees.

He said the federation also recommended that the EPA, should open more office at the regional and district level to facilitate the approval of applications at all levels.

Mr Agyemang-Duah noted that the federation with the fire service agreed that the service should develop policy aimed at recruiting and training more officers.

He said the federation in collaboration with officials of the Department of Factories, Office and Shops recommended the retention of user fees since the department does not retain any of the fees or the penalties paid by applicants.