Fiscal Incentive Information Session Updates Companies on Amendments
34 Fiscal Incentive beneficiary companies, and business representatives participated in an information sharing and network session hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Investment, in collaboration with the Investment and Compliance Unit (IPCU), BELTRAIDE and the Economic Development Council. The purpose of the session was to share the contents of the March 2023 amendments to the Fiscal Incentives Act. Executive Director at BELTRAIDE, Leroy Almendarez says the amendment now aligns with World’s Bank definition of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
Leroy Almendarez, Executive Director, BELTRAIDE: “Whenever the government is in the process of any kind of legislative changes, policy changes or strategy changes, it is important to discuss with those beneficiaries, those who would have benefited. In this case, last year in March the renewed or the Fiscal Incentive Act that replaced Act 54 was approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate. And so therefore it’s now in effect but I must say that there was a lot of consultation, broad-based consultation, where we got to the point that we believe that what was being presented to cabinet addressed most of the challenges or concerns that investors had. And here in this case, we’re talking a lot about, you know, local and foreign investors because foreign investors were also in the room. And so yesterday it was a matter in the information session is was to go over, you know, those changes. For example the incorporation nowadays an incorporation within this new fiscal incentive act is a part four that speaks specifically to micro, small and medium enterprises. Because believe it or not, most of the business that operate within this country fall within that as a matter of – it’s about over 90% of them. But also to let them know that there was a redefinition. So there was a further amendment to the act which spoke to the fact that we are now more aligned with the World Bank definition of a micro, a small and a medium enterprise. And if I can quickly say this, it is now from less than 200,000 up to 30 million, what we had previously was less than 100,000, up to 4.5 million. So you can see that the entities that would now be embraced or included it’s much broader base in terms of those entities that would have been included.”
Almendarez added that 20% of all government procurement must now come from MSME’s. He spoke to Love News about other changes that were discussed.
Leroy Almendarez, Executive Director, BELTRAIDE: “You know, if you had applied, because when you apply what is approved is something called a master list and there are entities just like building a house, what are your bill of quantities and everything that is required. And if there’s a need, for example, for any change where that is concerned, you know, we answer that in terms of length of time we’re shortening the process now from your application until approval. In the past – because any entity that applies before an order is made and through statutory instrument it’s also published in the newspaper and the public can review and provide feedback or an objection. We would do that maybe towards the end now it’s happening at the beginning so that whenever your application gets approved it does not take much more than a few days before that order can be made rather than waiting three weeks for the order to be made. So it was very informative. There was a lot of interactions from those who were present because like I said the government continues to do really enabling environment is concerned with legislation, policy, strategy, etc. to ensure that those who want to operate locally and for us to attract and become even more competitive where foreign direct investment is concerned, you know, that we are in fact competitive.”
It is to be noted that duties and taxes are not exempted in the new act.