KUCHING: The government is looking at ways to help the business community in the country save at least RM1 billion a year by doing away with unnecessary regulations and formalities. Making such a move will also enhance Malaysia`s competitiveness besides making it an attractive investment destination, opined Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) Deputy Director General II Abdul Latif Abu Seman.
And the savings would eventually benefit the country as they would be reinvested in the businesses or used to pay taxes to the government, he told reporters after the opening of ICC (Innovative and Creative Circle) and QE (Quality Environment) Convention 2012 for Sarawak and Sabah Region here yesterday. He expressed confidence that the initiative was achievable, saying RM729 million had been saved to date by reducing the number of licences.
"The RM1 billion target is realistic. We can save more than that. On licences alone, we have saved RM729 million and this is only one project. We have started our next project to assist tourism players to save cost." According to him, a review carried out by Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) showed that 52 per cent of the existing licences could be eliminated, lamenting that the 23 federal ministries had created a total of 761 licences. "For example, an investor will need more than 200 licences to go into a hotel business from Health Department, Fire and Rescue Department to local council and utility providers.
"There are so many requirements and these are all the costs of doing business. And some of these licences or procedures do not make sense," he said, adding that Pemandu aimed to reduce the existing licences by half this year. He also said a study done by MPC in Penang showed that it would cost a multinational company an average of RM20,000 in licensing. He further pointed out that a construction firm would need to comply with 22 procedures, which would take at least 260 days, before getting approval from the authorities for a project.
"If you are a business person, you have RMI00 million to invest in Malaysia, are you going to wait for 260 days? The waiting time itself is a cost to a business. "If we are talking about bringing investors to the country, do the investors find Malaysia a country which is easy to do business in when we have all these things?", he questioned.
Borneo Post, 12 July 2012