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SODELPA Agrees Change Needed But Says Companies Bill Imposes Too Many Regulations

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and SODELPA Youth believe the proposed Companies Bill imposes far more regulations to conduct business than necessary. Representative, Laisani Qaqalawa, made these comments yesterday
10 Apr 2015 11:01
SODELPA Agrees Change Needed But Says  Companies Bill Imposes Too Many Regulations
Leader of SODELPA,Ro Teimumu Kepa listens to the submission by Laisani Qaqalawa (left) and Pita Waqavonovono of Sodelpa Youth Movement during the Committee submissions at Parliament yesterday.

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and SODELPA Youth believe the proposed Companies Bill imposes far more regulations to conduct business than necessary.

Representative, Laisani Qaqalawa, made these comments yesterday before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights.

She agreed that the existing Companies Act requires reforming.

“Our Registrar (of Companies) is working on legislation that is 45 years old so there is no real argument about the need for this important area to be updated,” she said.

But she questioned why would any investor – local or foreign – want to establish a business in Fiji, when there are 443 penalty offences?

These, she said, range from $300 to $270,000 plus imprisonment for one to five years for offences in relation to operating a business in Fiji.

Ms Qaqalawa said: “Surely we need less regulation and we need to make it easier for our citizens as well as investors to do business in Fiji.”

Ms Qaqalawa said the party suggested a more effective use of taxpayers’ dollars would be to fund a modernisation programme in the Companies Office.

“This is so that it becomes completely computerised and fund an updating of the old and existing legislation so that it becomes more relevant to the current business environment in Fiji.

“This is preferable because there are existing case studies from which the courts can draw from in terms of any litigation.

“Whereas an entirely new bill pulling in legislation from various countries will result in Fiji having a ‘unique’ act with no case laws which would have to be developed over time.”

Ms Qaqalawa said the impact will be a slowdown in investment from everyone except who he claimed “the favoured few”.

Feedback: rachael.nath@fijisun.com.fj

 

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