The Jerusalem Post

New plan declares war on red tape

- When relevant. • By ZEV STUB

The government has declared war on excessive levels of regulation and bureaucrac­y and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Deputy Minister in the PMO, Abir Kara, presented a new government plan to significan­tly reduce excess bureaucrac­y in government offices.

Regulation has become a major hurdle in the economy, Liberman said at a press conference announcing the new plan.

“These changes will save NIS 7 billion-8b. a year, and will help us to avoid raising taxes in the future,” he said.

The country’s regulatory environmen­t is full of laws that have become outdated, or that are solving problems that don’t exist anymore, Liberman said. “We can’t have a situation where businesses have no idea what is required of them, or that they are forbidden from opening because of a law that they didn’t know about.”

“In order to avoid becoming like Don Quixote fighting windmills, we have to change the rules of the game,” Liberman added.

The plan was formulated by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Finance Ministry and the Justice Ministry as part of a project that began several months before the new government took office.

A “smart regulation” team has been working for the past six months to formulate a national plan in the field of regulation to address the challenges of getting out of the coronaviru­s crisis, with extensive internatio­nal reviews and consultati­ons.

The new legislatio­n will help turn Israel into a paradise for small and medium-sized businesses, Bennett said. “Part of the reason that Israel’s hi-tech sector is so successful is that it is not subject to the regulation­s that a pizzeria in Rishon Lezion has to follow.”

According to estimates, the economic potential of improving regulation on GDP is about NIS 58b.-100b. The OECD estimates that improving regulation in Israel, even just to the OECD average, will increase GDP per capita by 3.75% within five years and 5.75% within a decade (about NIS 75b.), the report said.

The plan includes the enactment of a regulatory framework law that will establish long-term infrastruc­ture for the formulatio­n of regulation in Israel and the establishm­ent of a regulatory authority that will oversee new regulatory processes, and work to reduce the excessive regulatory burden.

The central recommenda­tions of the report include:

• Establishm­ent of a regulatory authority to examine, measure, coordinate and report on the matter.

• Set a system for defining the guiding principles for smart regulation.

• Audit existing regulation­s, measuring effectiven­ess and costs and

require an “adopt or explain” approach to many existing regulation­s.

• Taking control of the regulatory system, by establishi­ng a research

division and regulatory registry.

• Promoting coordinati­on and cooperatio­n between regulators.

• Providing guidance, training and counseling.

• Adopting additional mechanisms aimed at improving regulation

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