Municipal Councils cautioned over red tapes for investor approvals
Government will now actively monitor and ensure that municipal councils play an active role as far as investment approvals are concerned to ensure there are no hurdles from council side. Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar, made these comments yesterday. His comments came the Special Administrators’ and Chief Executive Officers’ Forum yesterday at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka. Mr Kumar put under spotlight the fact that some municipal councils, instead of “rolling out the red carpet have pulled out the red tape” when investors wanted do business within their cities and municipalities. Mr Kumar emphasised to the executives attending the forum that he had received complaints in relation to this. The complaints had been on the lack of urgency of some municipal councils in dealing with new investment approvals.
As a result, he said he himself has to call the respective CEOs and Special Administrators to follow up on certain things. “This should not be the case. From now onwards, my Ministry will monitor actively so that the councils play an active role in investment,” he said. Mr Kumar further raised concerns that no administrator or CEO had approached him to say they were working under pressure and by this, he took it that everything was normal with the councils.
But he did note that said some ministry officials have also not been helpful to certain councils. He said everyone should be able play their part from now on and those who could not, should let him know. “We are a key part to investments in this country as we are the approving authority,” he said.
“If we are going to take time for approvals, billions of dollars investment money could go down the drain.” Mr Kumar stressed municipal councils were key stakeholders in improving investment by promoting their towns and cities. He said Government has approved the reduction of car parking requirements and flexible business operating hours within towns and cities.
Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar (seated middle) with his Ministry officials, and special administrators and chief exectuvies during the Special Administrators’ and Chief Executive Officers’ Forum at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka.