A nationwide advocacy to educate the business community on G2B services ended recently

Members of the business community would not have to come to the regional offices of trade and industry to collect their documents such as licenses and permits. In the next few months, the economic affairs ministry will set up printers for Government to business (G2B) services to improve service delivery for the business community.

Out of more than 120 G2C services, 34 are G2B services. G2B services include availing of new business licenses, renewal, industrial and retail licenses.

At an advocacy programme on G2B services, chief IT officer with the economic affairs ministry, Sonam Chedup said, the government’s aim is make services available from any place. The ministry in line with this is aiming to create a single window for all the 34 G2B services.

Sonam Chedup said that before the introduction of online services, availing trade and industry services was time consuming. People had to wait in long queues and run from one office to the other to get the required documents. “Farmers have to walk days to get a permit to cut trees for their own consumption,” he said.

With printing services available, in addition to having online service portal and an online payment system, business people can avail and do business from any part of the country.

The economic affairs ministry jointly with G2C service will train community centre operators, who will help those who aren’t aware of the services.

Economic affairs ministry officials said that even after providing the services online last September, many business people still showed up at the trade offices to process their documents. To educate the business community on G2B services, a nationwide advocacy programme was initiated last month.

However, turn up for the advocacy programmes in commercial hubs like Thimphu and Phuentsholing was poor compared to the dzongkhags with only 30 to 50 percent of the business community attending the event. Around 3,000 business people have attended the advocacy programme.

“Even if we can reach ten percent of the business community, then it can have a ripple effect and they would reach other people,” Sonam Chedup said.

The programme educates the business community on how to use G2B online services. Trade is divided into micro, retail and wholesale based on the annual earnings. Service licenses, contract and production and manufacturing make up industrial services, based on the investment.

An official from the economic affairs ministry said, one of the main reasons for their delay in service is people entering wrong information on the forms. They said, business people do not know the type of business they hold and make wrong entries.

Economic affairs minister, Lekey Dorji said that Bhutan lacks expertise in cottage and small industries. The minister stressed on the importance of small businesses and industries to help build experts of our own. “Cottage and small industries is one of the jewels of our country,” he added.

The advocacy programme was held on June 15 in Thimphu, which was the last for western Bhutan.

Karma Cheki