THE STRESS of waiting in lines and the high costs associated with doing business in Jamaica, are among several areas that will be addressed with the new Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Entrepreneurship policy.
Speaking at the launch at the Terra Nova Hotel in St Andrew on Tuesday, Minister of Industry and Commerce Anthony Hylton said the policy, in which was passed in Parliament in July of this year, is a welcome initiative that seeks to improve the business climate and reduce hindrances.
"[The level of] bureaucracy in the administrative and regulatory system is high and this is coupled with high transaction costs, which makes it difficult to do business," said Hylton.
"We are aware of many of the issues that stifle production in our country: the issue of waiting in lines, among others, has been a long-standing issue. However, as part of the improvement of the business environment, we commit to taking major steps towards eliminating the red tape that stymies business in the country," he said.
Hylton also pointed out that there needs to be more collaboration in tackling the issue.
"With the implementation of this policy, we have organised a competitive council which I chair. We will actually be meeting tomorrow (yesterday) because I believe the dialogue is important to identify the problems," he declared.
"What I am moving to now is action, while I will facilitate collaboration. I will be decisive in moving to ensure the policy tackles the issues that impede businesses," Hylton said.
In the meantime, the minister also pointed out that the ministry is moving to alleviate the pressure on micro businesses.
"In seeking to promote a supportive tax and incentive framework for the sector, the start-up is to lobby for micro enterprises who self-declare their assets at less than J$1 million to be automatically exempted from paying taxes for the first five years," said Hylton.
He added: "This will go a far way in eliminating double taxation on dividends, which will in turn encourage reinvestment for establishment."