May 6, 2018 / 10:11 AM / 14 days ago

Israel seeks to ease regulations to save economy time, money

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a governmental plan on Sunday to reduce the country’s heavy regulation burden, saying it would lead to annual savings for the economy of more than 1.35 billion shekels (276.26 million pounds).

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem April 15, 2018. Gali Tibbon/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

Under the plan devised from 15 ministries, the Tax Authority and Antitrust Authority, more than 80 requirements will be cancelled or eased, for example, in the importation of wireless communication devices.

In preparing the plans, existing regulation was examined in a range of fields, including approximately 50 licenses and permits, seven exportation procedures and seven importation procedures.

Netanyahu said that in addition to cost savings, the plans would reduce the number of days spent waiting for permits by more than 40 million a year.

Israel slipped to 54th place in the World Bank’s 2018 Doing Business survey from 52nd in 2017.

“The momentum of regulatory reductions is expected to accelerate in the coming years,” Netanyahu said.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen

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