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Newsletter May 2017 - Review of the Business Facilitation Act 2017

Dear Valued Investors,

Just over a decade ago, the Business Facilitation Act 2006 triggered a period of sustained economic growth following bold reforms in the business environment. These reforms resulted in the streamlining of administrative processes through the subsequent Finance Act and the Economic and Financial Measures (Miscellaneous. Provisions) Act.

However, concurrently, other economies, in particular emerging Eastern European and Scandinavian countries, were constantly devising new ways to further improve their offerings and secure their global competitive edge by leveraging their lead in terms of technology and other initiatives.

The new Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2017, which came into force on the 20th May 2017, is the latest attempt to give a new impulse to investment by eliminating regulatory and administrative bottlenecks.

In line with the government’s objective to improve the business environment, the Business Facilitation Act (BFA) is a potent vehicle which addresses seven key areas, namely Starting a Business, Registering Property, Paying Taxes, Resolving Insolvency, Construction Permits, Exit Procedures and Cross Border Trade.

The BFA promotes the use of information technology in various areas, such as the issuance of e-certificate of incorporation which allows businesses to start their operations expeditiously. Other improvements relate to the process for registering property and initiatives undertaken to enhance transparency.

The Act, coupled with other significant amendments to regulations, facilitates international trade by substantially streamlining the process for import permits, eliminating duplications and ensuring the respect of deadlines.

Other measures have been announced that will give a significant boost to the construction sector. These will have ripple effects across other sectors. For instance, the land transfer tax and registration duty are being waived for the transfer of land to construct warehouses or for the transfer of warehouses for business purposes.  Also, where no Building and Land Use Permit (BLUP) and/or regulatory license are required, businesses will be able to start their operations immediately after registration of the business activity with the Corporate and Business Registration Department.

In the same spirit, the procedures for the processing and issuance of construction permits are being streamlined and statutory time frames have been introduced.  This client-centric approach will result in an overall greater efficiency.

More information about reforms that are being implemented is shared in this special edition of our newsletter which features a full review of the Business Facilitation Act 2017.

Improving the business climate is a continuous exercise. Over and above these regulatory reforms, several other administrative processes are being streamlined to enhance service delivery. Our flagship project is the E-licensing Platform which will act as a single point of entry for applications for permits and licenses.

Several such initiatives are going ahead. By further strengthening the collaborative approach being adopted by the public and private sector, the competitiveness of Mauritius as an investment destination of choice will be enhanced. 

I wish you a very pleasant read.

Ken Poonoosamy
Managing Director

 

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