There has been a 70% increase in construction permits and there is continued confidence of investors despite COVID-19.
Acting Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Shaheen Ali says this has been noted after Suva City Council issued 393 permits in 2020 compared to 278 permits in 2019 in Suva City, the hub of development in building and construction.
While speaking in a workshop for Development Permit Management, he says Suva City Council is expected to start reviewing the City Planning Scheme within the next two months as the current scheme dates back to 1979 and this causes delay in the issuance of building and construction permits.
Ali says the revised City Planning Scheme will be submitted to the Director Town and Country Planning for consideration before the end of 2021.
He adds towns and cities have significantly evolved over the years, where areas that were previously designated as residential zones are now included in the expanding commercial and industrial zones, and schemes for Suva also needs to evolve to meet the present demand and economic situation.
Ali further says it is equally important to modernise application and approval processes and Suva City Council has set an example in carrying out business reforms.
He says some of the reforms include the removal of business license, online registration of company or business name, online tax registration, removal of stamp duties, and the creation of an online business portal called bizFIJI.
Ali says their goal is to digitalise business-related information and approvals, and the submission of applications and approvals will be completely online.
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