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Opinions & Interviews

23 Nov 2017

Opinion: Entrepreneurship Development Ordinance encourages self-employment and removes barriers

Opinion: Entrepreneurship Development Ordinance encourages self-employment and removes barriers

MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) – The Entrepreneurship Development Ordinance will remove the excessive administrative barriers and will contribute to the liberation of economic activity and to the self-employment of the population, BelTA learned from Sergei Novitsky, member of the Entrepreneurship Development Council.

Sergei Novitsky said that the main tasks include scrapping excessive administrative barriers, outdated and far-fetched requirements, which Belarusian private companies had to deal with. “In my opinion, this document will help address such global tasks as self-employment of the population and the emancipation of business activity,” he said.

The key goal of the document is to help people stop being afraid of starting their own business, noted the expert. “It is necessary to dismantle this psychological barrier. People should not be afraid of doing something lawful, something that does not harm the state and its citizen. The government should encourage such endeavors,” the Entrepreneurship Development Council member is convinced.

Sergei Novitsky mentioned a number of vital points the Entrepreneurship Development Ordinance provides for. First of all, the declarative principle of business registration for the most popular types of business such as consumer services, tourism, social services, trade and public catering, transportation of passengers and luggage. These are the spheres where about 95% of Belarusian small and medium private companies are concentrated. “One notification and you can go ahead and work. It is very convenient,” added Sergei Novitsky.

Second, fire safety requirements, sanitary and epidemiological requirements, veterinary requirements, environmental protection requirements have been systematized and abridged as much as possible. For instance, in the past a businessman had to satisfy 19 sanitary and epidemiological requirements in order to open a cafe. Now the entrepreneur will be able to opt out of all of them. The entrepreneur will be able to declare that his or her business is up to standards.

Sergei Novitsky also mentioned the scrapping of administrative barriers based on complicated and lengthy bureaucratic procedures, a large number of certificates, approvals, and permit documents. Everything will be converted to digital rails. The necessary documents can be acquired remotely. “The number of administrative procedures will be minimized. One list will be available. After looking through the list, potential business owners will clearly see what procedures they need to go through in order to register and operate their business. Everything in one document without reference norms,” stated the expert.

Making sure these norms are properly observed in rural areas and by municipal government agencies is also important, said Sergei Novitsky. “We need counsellors, who can easily explain what potential business owners can do, what rights and responsibilities they have in order to greenlight the establishment of new businesses. It is the main ideological message of the document,” stressed the official.

The expert also noted that the share of small and medium businesses, self-employed businessmen will surely grow. “The share of companies employing 25-100 workers is supposed to demonstrate the highest growth. These companies are most active, dynamic, and attractive from the investment point of view,” concluded Sergei Novitsky.

On 23 November Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed Ordinance No.7 “On entrepreneurship development”. It is the key document in the package of regulations designed to improve the country’s business climate. The document is supposed to give the necessary impulse to the development of business initiative, encourage the business activity of citizens, and improve the country’s investment climate as a whole.

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