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PEF Fights Business Permit Delays

By Daily Guide

The Private Enterprises Foundation (PEF) says bureaucracy in securing licenses for businesses is adversely affecting small-scale initiatives.

A research report commissioned by PEF with support from USAID revealed that there are currently over 100 permit requirements in force in the country and that had made it impossible for businesses to grow.

In view of this, PEF is calling on the government, assemblies and other regulatory agencies that have the mandate to register businesses to review some of the rules and regulations to open more avenues for the private sector.

According to Moses Agyeman, senior economist with PEF, the foundation had been meeting with regulatory agencies including the assemblies to impress on them to modify the rules and regulations regarding business registrations to make them more accessible to prospective businesses.

He said PEF met the Department of Factories Inspectorate, Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service, Town & Country Planning Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that problems encountered by business licence applicants were resolved once and for all.

He said it has been difficult to arrange meetings with some of the heads of departments of the assemblies to dialogue with them.

'Our efforts to meet with the head of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, for instance, did not yield any results since all our attempts to obtain audience with them failed,' he said in a release to the media.

According PEF, securing environmental permit from the EPA for a small scale business for instance takes about 90 working days or more.

'An environmental permit expires 18 months from the date of issue regardless of whether the applicant commences operations or not,' Mr. Agyeman said.

With the GNFS, the application process are partially decentralized and applicants could only download application forms but there is no online platform for submission of the completed application.

Applications start at the regional/district office but the certification are only issued by the central command in Accra and also the delays in the review and approval of applications are due to the transfer of documents from regional/district offices to the central command for certification.

PEF appealed to the regulatory agencies to expedite work on removing all business licence application bottlenecks in order to woo more investors into the country.

By Samuel Boadi