Local businessmen now have a point person in Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s Cabinet to whom they can turn whenever they face bottlenecks.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has designated Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Senator Darcy Boyce as the minister to deal with business facilitation.
Stuart first announced the move at the end of a meeting of the Social Partners at Government Headquarters recently, but it was made public only yesterday in a release from the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS).
According to the BGIS release, Stuart told those present that Boyce’s new designation would broaden the base of his remit, adding to his responsibility for Energy, Immigration, Telecommunications and Invest Barbados.
“Mr Stuart said that under his new designation, Senator Boyce would be required to identify blockages in the system and have them removed or clarified where possible, or brought to the Prime Minister’s attention,” it said.
“In some cases, Mr Boyce may be required to explain the operating systems to persons and suggest what improvements need to be made,” it added.
Stuart had promised the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)at a meeting on January 27 that a minister would be assigned to two departments under the Prime Minister’s portfolio to drive efficiency.
“I took the decision that I’m going to have a minister assigned to drive these processes at Immigration and Town Planning departments and make sure that the concerns of businesses whenever raised are pursued with singlemindedness so that wherever the bottlenecks are, they can be identified and removed as swiftly as possible without compromising the standard of either the Immigration Department or the Town Planning Department,” the Prime Minister said then.
“Businesses need to have an expectation that their applications are going to be handled as efficiently and expeditiously as possible and I think the best thing to do is to have somebody drive those processes – a point person whom businesses can contact and who can help to drive the process,” he added at the time.
At that meeting, Senior Vice President of the BCCI Edward Clarke had highlighted business facilitation as a major concern for the business community, complaining that when interacting with some Government agencies, “their inaction leads to a level of frustration at all levels of business in Barbados and continues to have a negative impact on our overall productivity”.