Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cils cau­tioned over red tapes for in­vestor ap­provals

Fiji Sun - - Business - CHARLES CHAM­BERS LAUTOKA EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL

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.

Photo: DEPTFO NEWS

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.

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