REPORT ON THE BUSINESS LICENSING AND REGISTRATION BILL 2018
THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON THE ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT CLUSTER
National Assembly Phone: +266 22323035 P. O. Box 190 Fax: + 266 22310434
On Friday 31st August, 2018, the Hon. Minister of Trade tabled the Business Licensing and Registration Bill, 2018 in the House. The Bill was referred to the Portfolio Committee on the Economic and Development Cluster for consideration in terms of Standing Order No. 51 (5). The Committee invited the Ministry of Trade to a briefing session in accordance with Standing Order No. 101 (2).
The Committee, therefore, presents this Report to the House for consideration.
2.0 MINISTERIAL BRIEF
The Ministry of Trade stated that the Business Licensing and Registration Bill is intended to introduce risk based business licensing and flexible business regulations. Business will be licensed depending on the risk they pose to public health or safety, national security or environment protection. Business activities that do not pose any risk will simply be registered. The Bill is a direct response to restrictive business start-up rules and procedures. It addresses the barriers that make starting a business cumbersome and costly.
The Bill further introduces registration of business names, to improve the business in Lesotho and also ensures that the identity of the business person is easily determinable for accountability purposes. The requirement to register a business name applies to all enterprises operating in Lesotho, whether registered under this Act or any other Law.
The Bill establishes the Trading Enterprises Tribunal to hear appeals from decisions made pursuant to exercise of power under the Bill. It prescribes composition of the tribunal and the timeframes within which to deal with an appeal. The Members of the tribunal are appointed by the Minister and are subjected to a code of conduct.
4.0. CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL CLAUSE BY CLAUSE
The Committee adopted clause 3 with the following amendment
- In Clause 3, insert a new sub-clause (e) as follows and renumber sequentially:
(e) Facilitate registration of business names.
Clause 4 was adopted with the following amendments:
- In Clause 4 sub-clause (a) delete the words “two million maloti; and ” and replace it with “M 2,000,000.00”
- In Clause 4, insert new sub-clauses as follows and renumber sequentially
“(c) strategic nature of the business to the Lesotho economy”
“(d) transfer of technology and business expertise; and
“(e) advancement of business undertakings owned by citizens”.
- In Clause 4, delete “semicolon” and the word “or” and substitute them with “as may be prescribed from time to time”
- In Clause 4 sub clause (5)(ii)(cc) delete all the words and replace it with “involves crop production ,forestry, logging and related activities; and”
Clause 5 was adopted with the following amendments:
- In clause 5 sub clause (2) line 2, delete the word “or” and substitute it with “coma”.
- In clause 5, sub clause (2) line 2 insert the words “or any other” between the words “energy” and “authority”.
The Committee adopted clause 6 with the following amendments:
- In clause 6 sub clause (c) delete all the words and substitute them with “ a person who was convicted, of any of the following criminal offences-
- In clause 6 delete sub clause (c) (i) and renumber sequentially.
- In clause 6 sub clause (c) (i) (ii) (iii) delete the word “of”.
- In clause 7 sub clause (1) line 2 delete the reference “40 (4)” and substitute it with “41 (3) (c)”.
Clause 11 was adopted with the following amendment
- In clause 11 insert a new sub-clause (2) as follows and renumber sequentially:
“(2) If the licencee is unable to produce the records or books as required under sub section (1) (b), the Licensing Officer may extend the period of production of such records or books to 3 days from the date of demand”
The Committee adopted Clause 14 with the following amendment.
- In clause 14 delete sub-clause (1) (a) to (e) and renumber sequentially.
- In clause 14, delete sub-clause (1) (3) and substitute it with the following new sub-clause and renumber sequentially.
“(3) A person who intends to carry on a business activity set out in subsection (1) may apply for registration of the business before or after commencing such business.”
Clause 15 was adopted with the following amendments:
- In clause 15 insert a new sub-clause (2) as follows and renumber sequentially
“(2) The registrar shall not issue a business identification card to a foreign enterprise unless the application is accompanied by a business permit”
- In Clause 15 insert a new sub clause (8) as follows and renumber sequentially
“(8) The provisions of section 6 shall apply with necessary changes to applications for registration of businesses”.
Clause 21 was adopted with the following amendment
- In clause 21 , insert a new sub clause (6)
“(6) The Registrar shall notify the person of a cancellation under subsection 5.”
The Committee adopted clause 27 with the following amendment
- In clause 27 sub clause 3 delete the reference “(8)” and substitute it with “(10)”.
Clause 28 was adopted with the following amendment
- In Clause 28 sub clause (b) line 2, insert the following words after the word “to” “ all registered businesses”.
Clause 29 was adopted with the following amendments
- In Clause 29 sub clause (b) delete all the words between “comma” and “section ”and substitute them with the following words “on environment or public health and safety for compliance with”
- In clause 29 sub clause (4) delete the words “The inspector, when exercising any power under this Act,” and substitute them with “A Person when exercising any power under this section, may engage the services of a police officer above the rank of constable and”
Clause 30 was adopted with the following amendment
- In clause 30, sub clause (1) (e) line 4, delete the reference “30” and substitute it with “31”.
The Committee adopted clause 31 with the following amendment
- In clause 31 line 2, delete the reference “304” and substitute it with “30”.
Clause 32 was adopted with the following amendment
- In Clause 32 sub clause (a) insert the following words between the word officer and semicolon “with experience, knowledge and expertise in commercial law ;”
Clause 34 was adopted with the following amendments.
- In Clause 34, insert new sub –clauses as follows and renumber sequentially:
“(1) in this section, a member of the Tribunal is deemed to be an active member of a political party, if the member-
(a) Speaks in public in favour of any political party or by word or deed, does anything which is calculated to further political interest of any party;
(b) Takes an active part in the support of any candidate in an election; or
(c) Does anything, by word or conduct, which the public may reasonably associate or identify the member with an organisation or movement of a political character.”
- In clause 34, insert a new sub-clause (e) as follows and renumber sequentially:
“(e) does not attend 3 consecutive sittings of the Tribunal without giving a valid excuse.”
The Committee adopted clause 35 with the following amendment
- In clause 35 , insert a new sub clause (4) as follows and renumber sequentially:
“(4) In addition to a penalty under subsection (3), the member shall be removed from office under section (34) (b)”.
Clause 37 was adopted with the following amendment
- In Clause 37 sub clause (3) after the word “Tribunal” delete comma and add the following words “and in his absence the members present shall choose one of them to preside.”
The Committee adopted clause 42 with the following amendments:
- In clause 42 sub clause (1) ,delete sub clause (1) (a) (b) (c) and substitute it with the following clauses (a) (i) (ii) (iii) and renumber sequentially
(i) without a licence,
(ii) with expired licence
(iii) with a cancelled or suspended licence; or
(b) failure to register a business,”
The Committee adopted clause 44 with the following amendments:
- In clause 44 , delete sub-clause (1) (g) and substitute it with a new sub-clause (g) as follows
“(g) the establishment and maintenance of the business licence register of business and register of business names;”
- In clause 44, insert new sub –clause (k) as follows and renumber sequentially:
“(k) business activities that may be operated from residential premise; and”
- In clause 44, delete sub-clause (3) and insert new sub-clause(3) (a) (b) as follows and renumber sequentially:
“(3) The Minister may, by regulations, amend-
(a) A penalty or fine payable under this Act; or
(b) A schedule to this Act.
Clause 45 was adopted with the following amendments:
- After clause 43, add new clause 45 as follows and renumber sequentially:
- (1) a licence granted under the Liquor Licensing Act, No 8 of 1998 shall continue to be in force until its expiry and may be renewed under this Act.
(2) Any pending application for a licence shall be processed under this Act.”
After thorough scrutiny of the Bill, the Committee recommends that the House adopt the Bill as amended (Annex 2)
The Committee wishes to submit this report to the House for adoption.
Members of the Committee
- Hon. S. T. Rapapa (chairperson) 2. Hon. L. S. Litšoane 3. Hon. L. R. Mahase 4. Hon. S.D .Mangobe 5. Hon. T. J. Sophonea 6. Hon. M. J. Maime 7. Hon. T. L.Kibane 8. Hon. M. P. Maqelepo 9. Hon. L. C. Hlomelang 10. Hon. L. K. Mokoma 11. Hon. L. Moramotse 12. Hon. M. Malefane 13. Hon. M. C. Hlao 14. Hon. T. T. Mosena 15. Hon. M. R. Khati 16. Hon. M. Hlalele 17. Hon. P. D. Mafereka 18. Hon. T. P. Mokeretla 19. Hon. N. Motsamai 20. Hon. S. H. Sekatle 21. Hon. T. L. Mokhosi 22. Hon. M. Tlali