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ICU expects rise in online applications for business licences
Published on: Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister's Department expects the number of applications for business licences through the Business Licensing Electronic Support System (Bless) to increase by year-end.

ICU Director-General Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaki Ansore Mohd Yusof said this is in line with efforts to add 71 more business licences to 285 by year-end.

The Bless system registered 81,344 transactions for business licence applications in 2016 compared with 74,069 in 2017, he said when officiating the Business Licence Outreach Programme, here, Monday.

Bless is a standardised format for all application forms, online payment option and feedback mechanism established in 2009 to simplify the procedures of all licensing, permits and approvals involving multiple government agencies.

It is an online one-stop service centre for companies or individuals who wish to apply for a licence/approval/permit to start a business in the country.

The two-day programme starting Monday is aimed at providing opportunities to the Sabah business community to seek assistance and advisory services from licensing authorities on business ventures and related business licence requirements.

Several officers from the ICU's Bless Division are present to help resolve technical issues faced by the local business community.

Ahmad Zaki said the Bless system had transformed the method of application and approval, which used to be cumbersome and time-consuming, through a single window through the online platform with a shorter approval period.

At the federal level, the number of licences was reduced by 41 per cent from 767 to 454, while another 29 licences were abolished, while at the State level, the number of licences was cut by 38 per cent from 2,659 to 1,915.

Ahmad Zaki said the commitment of front-line officers of licensing authorities in providing advisory services on the Bless licence application conditions, application procedures and resolving issues faced by clients quickly was important in facilitating the application process.

"The agenda to modernise business licensing should to be continued in order to facilitate business in Malaysia.

Hence, cooperation and commitment from all parties are needed, especially that of the licensing authorities," he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zaki said the Government is able to manage the nation through disciplined practices that are efficient and prudent.

He noted that this is the result of the Government's planning as well as the perspectives and efforts from all parties, including the business community, in ensuring the country's economic growth is at its best.

"Malaysia has been ranked 23rd in the list of 190 economies in facilitating business, based on World Bank Annual Report 2017.

"The Government is now targeting Malaysia to be among the top five economic groups in facilitating business and the agenda of modernising business licensing management needs to be continued," he said.

He stressed that the effort is not easy and cannot be rolled out without any government planning and commitment, and collaborative of all parties, especially the licensing authorities. - Locksley Ng

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