Govt to simplify investment processes to reduce cost of doing business (Updated)

11 Jun 2019 / 15:36 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The government aims to spur economic growth by reducing the cost of doing business, according to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said for an investors or businessmen to get a project started in the construction industry, they currently needed to get 60 approvals, adding that this takes too long and in some instances it has taken up to three years before they get all the necessary approvals.

“I have instructed the Chief Secretary to the Government to look at all the processes involved and how to reduce them.

“He has also been tasked to study all the agencies involved in this process,“ Mahathir told the media after attending the Economic Action Committee meeting today.

He said the economy was not doing as well as the government had hoped and they decided to help the construction industry as it was one of the key economic drivers.

He said quick approvals are needed because those involved in the construction industry rely on bank loans and the longer it takes the more costly the project becomes.

‘One way of dealing with this is to ensure all agencies involved in the approval process should concentrate on ticking the boxes involving their agency and not worry about whether others have given their approval.“

Mahathir said the government is also looking at improving the livelihood of padi farmers while at the same time reducing the subsidy they get.

He said at present the subsidy to padi farmers stands at RM1.8 billion a year.

He pointed out that padi farmers were only able to produce four tonnes per acre while in other nations they could produce eight tonnes.

He added that only in Kedah can padi farmers plant twice a year while in other areas it is only once a year.

“We must find ways to increase their income and one possible way is for them to plant cash crops.”

Mahathir said the nation cannot endanger its food security but it must find ways to reduce the subsidies.

He added that the food import bill should also be reduced from RM60 billion to at least RM 30 billion.

On a video going viral showing the antics of a Pakatan Harapan minister, he said he was not aware of it and that this was the first time he had heard about it.

“Show me the video because I don’t know about it. Better still you can brief me on it,“ he said when asked about it.

The Prime Minister also said he had the sole prerogative to make appointments after consulting everyone and taking their views into consideration.

He said the Parliamentary Select Committee had no power to make such decisions because they are legally constrained, and that in order for it to have such powers, certain provisions of the Constitution have to be amended and PH does not have a two-thirds majority in Parliament required to make these changes.

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