GOB Getting Ready to Implement Revised Trade Licensing Bill
The revision of the Trade Licensing Bill is getting closer to being finalized and taken back to Cabinet. This bill was first introduced at the May Sitting of the House of Representatives and was met with a slew of criticism from those who would be affected by its implementation. The backlash came mainly from self-employed persons such as entertainers, microbusiness owners, and street peddlers. The Minister of Labor, Oscar Requena, says that he has conducted several stakeholder consultation sessions to gather feedback on the proposed changes and that the response has been generally positive. He adds that the government is now working to finalize the bill’s implementation.
Hon. Oscar Requena, Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government and Labour: “We have made significant progress with that bill. As you’re aware I had presented that bill last year for the first reading and then it went to House Committee meetings and we had several stakeholders you know voicing their concerns, there were concerns particularly from the artist community, the DJs and so on and you know we’re a government that listens. People have genuine concerns we have to sit down, we have to listen so there were several meetings in which they had an opportunity to be able to sit down to voice their concerns, we dialogued and I can say to you that that bill has gone through significant cleaning up. It is at a point where you know the bill has now been taken back to House Committee and really I was informed that the House Committee was very much pleased, both government and opposition, with some of the changes that were made to the bill and I’m getting ready to take the bill back to the House you know and we’re hoping that once it goes through the House we are then going to announce when it is going to be implemented. This is a very important bill both for the urban and the rural areas and I want to make it significantly clear that no rural community or no rural business establishment should be worried that we are going to be taxing the small little business. We’re not looking at a trade license for the small tacos, small panades shop, the small little meat shop you know ? No, we have a clear category that we’re looking at you know the business establishments must be equal to or greater than six hundred square feet in terms of their business operation area what we call the productive space before they are considered for a trade license.”