Expedite enactment of Business Bill
Published On February 20, 2014 » 2692 Views» By Hildah Lumba » Opinion
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THE impending enactment of the Business Regulatory Bill Number 22 of 2013 into law is long overdue and should be accorded the urgency it deserves.
It is an issue which has been pending for a long time, rendering Zambia among the most expensive countries in as far as doing business is concerned.
This is the reason it has been so difficult to understand why investors in the tourism sector for example, are required to obtain not less than 37 licences in addition to several other fees before starting full operations.
Now that the Act is in the offing, it will provide a set of principles as well as interventions which will guide regulatory agencies when regulating and licensing business activities in accordance with the law under this mandate.
This piece of legislation will make licensing simpler and more transparent as well as focus on legitimate regulatory services.
As Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda who was contributing to a debate on the same in Parliament rightly pointed out, enactment of this Bill will result in the establishment of a Business Regulatory Authority which will usher in a single licensing system.
The concept of a single licensing system as explained by Mr Chenda is designed to reduce the point of contact by business houses and in addition, cut down on corruption and bureaucratic tendencies.
It is an open secret that the current licensing system is marred by a number of bottlenecks such as, rampant corruption and bureaucratic tendencies which have made it difficult to attract local and foreign investors into the Zambian economy.
Already there is assurance from Government that the enactment of the Business Regulatory Bill will result in the establishment of a special Committee.
This Committee should urgently be constituted to ensure that all the set policies are adhered to and properly implemented.
The Government will do better in this regard, if the Bill is speedily enacted into law to make Zambia more attractive to both local and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), essential for economic development and job creation.
This country urgently needs such important pieces of legislation which will not only make Zambia reduce on the cost of doing business, but also make it the most preferred investment destination for foreign investors.
The onus is now on the committee to ensure that its role does not only remain on paper but implemented to enhance adherence and implementation of such policies. OPINION

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