Streamlining processes for small business

ANY time small operators spend in reporting on different taxes and levies, reduces our ability to earn additional tax for the country, says Marita Manley owner of Talanoa Treks.

“We are a small social enterprise working in partnership with four interior communities on Viti Levu to offer multi-day treks to tourists,” she said.

Ms Manley made the statement during the 2018-2019 budget consultation for the private sector undertaken by Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum in Suva last Tuesday.

“Talanoa Treks currently reports on 14 different taxes and levies on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis and we are a relatively small and simple company,” Ms Manley said.

“Streamlining these processes would help small businesses a lot,” she said.

Ms Manley said the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) could be turned into a single collection point for all government-related revenue collections from small businesses which they could then distribute.

“It would mean a huge time saving for us, time to attract new visitors to the country,” she said.

“Reducing the regulatory burden by ensuring returns are easy to complete, by having simple, online forms or less regular reporting timeframes would also help.”

She also said: “We believe that there are opportunities to utilise the revenue from the E-Cal levy to drive environmental behaviour by partnering with the private sector to deliver lasting impacts in partnership with resource owners,” she said.

Ms Manley said their guests often asked them how the environmental levy was spent and they couldn’t answer.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they were very keen in respect of streamlining the processes.

“We are currently working with the Singapore Economic Corporation Group in rolling out various apps for Government services in a couple of months and we’ve given them the mandate to roll out other apps,” he said.

The A-G said they had FRCS and other business processing agencies to look at and he totally agreed with how we needed to streamline these business processes and the need to come up with solutions.

“Regarding the E-Cal funds we expect to receive about $90 million this year and we’ve already moved three villages to higher ground and we’ve got another 42 villages to move because of inundation of water and we’ve got various other programs,” Mr Sayed Khaiyum said.

He said the idea was to target those specific areas first but said they had to, by law, actually publish where these money had been spent.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he looked forward to their submissions.

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