A forum to discuss effective ways to cut out bureaucracy and simplify the procedures for establishing businesses in the country has been held in Koforidua.

It was organised by the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) with support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, and the goal was to assist in introducing a bill in parliament that would substantially reduce the registration and licencing requirements.

Nana Osei Bonsu, Chief Executive Officer of the (PEF), called for the introduction of an electronic and Internet platform for registration and licencing of companies as well as payment of required fees.

He said it should be made possible for people to register or acquire licences for their businesses without necessarily having to physically appear at offices of agencies assigned these tasks.

That, he noted, will make it easier for all agencies to have a data base of companies operating in the country.

He again recommended that the licencing agencies should be empowered by law to retain fees paid by businesses to be used for upgrading the technology and tools, engage additional staff and run technical training to enhance performance.

Nana Osei Bonsu also suggested joint inspections by the mandated agencies to help reduce the disruption of businesses by multiple inspection, and he demanded greater involvement of the private sector in fixing user fees.

Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Welfare Mr. Ahmed Baba Jamal said whatever proposals are made must be underpinned by the national interest and growth of the economy.

Ghanaians have always known all the challenges confronting the nation and solutions to these, he said -- pointing out that the difficulty is how to implement the solutions.

He said the expectation is that the various interest groups will consider the implications of what they were seeking to do in the nation’s revenue generation effort.

Mr. Joseph Zaphenat Amenowode, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprise, said involvement of the parliamentary committees in the discussions to give parliamentarians an insight into the bill will facilitate its smooth passage.

He said he shares the frustrations business operators go through to get their businesses registered.

Mr. Tony Sikpa, Chairman of Association of Ghanaian Exporters, said the bill could make the country attractive to more investors.

Credit: GNA