Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Daniela Bobeva was forced to defend on February 10 the Cabinet’s track record on efforts to reduce the administrative burden on businesses, following a critical report that claimed such efforts remained “solely on paper.”
In its front-page story on February 10, daily Sega – among the newspapers more critical of the current government’s performance – said that the bulk of the 139 individual measures meant to reduce red tape and approved by the Cabinet are yet to be implemented.
Furthermore, government ministries were in no hurry to reduce fees for services rendered, or cancel some of the licenses and permits required from businesses – even though as prime minister nominee Plamen Oresharski vowed to scrap 100 licensing procedures, none of that made its way into the list of 139 measures approved by his government, the daily said.
Sega said that the Cabinet’s decision last week to reduce the size of the fees charged by the country’s Registry Agency on the registration of new businesses was the only instance of a measure that would have “a sizeable impact”.
Listing some examples of proposed cuts to administrative fees that are yet to be implemented, the daily also says that ministries often “conveniently forget” to make such proposals in new bills put forth to Parliament.
Pressed into damage control mode, Bobeva said in a statement on the government’s website that there has been no delay with implementing measures to reduce red tape and blamed Parliament for the lack of progress concerning licensing procedures, which require changes to current laws
Bobeva said that the National Assembly was “wasting time with pointless votes” instead of passing important bills that would make life easier for businesses, such as the proposed amendments to the public procurement law.