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Mar 16, 2023

An Update on the Trade Licensing Bill

Oscar Requeña

Today, the media caught up with Minister of Labour Oscar Requeña at a workshop on child labour – we’ll have that story later in the newscast. But we took the opportunity to get an update on the trade licensing bill. Viewers will remember that back in May 2022, there was pushback by several persons, including small scale entrepreneurs and creatives in the entertainment sector, who were of the opinion that they stood to be affected by its implementation. In fact several members of the entertainment industry presented their concerns at a House Committee Meeting back on May twenty-third, 2022.  The government has been in consultation with various stakeholders since then and today, Requeña says that significant progress has been made with the bill and it is soon ready to be tabled at the House of Representatives once again.


Oscar Requeña, Minister of Labour

“I had presented that bill last year for the first reading and then it went to House committee meetings and we had several stakeholders voicing their concerns. There were concerns particular from the artist communities, DJs and so on. And you know we are a government that listens; people have genuine concerns, we have to sit down, we have to listen. So there were several meetings in which they had an opportunity to voice their concerns, we dialogued and I can say to you that that has gone through significant cleaning up. It is at a point where the bill has been taken back to House committee and really, I was informed that the House committee was very much pleased – both government and opposition – with some of the changes that were made to the bill. And I am getting ready to take the bill back to the House and we are hoping that once it goes through the House, we are then going to announce when it is going to be implemented. This is a very important bill both for the oral and rural areas and I want to make it significantly clear that no rural community or no rural business establishment should be worried that we are going to be taxing the small little business. We are not looking at a trade license for the small tacos, the small panades shop, the small little meat shop. We have a clear category that we are looking at; the business establishments must be equal to or greater than six hundred square feet in terms of their business operation area – what we call the productive space – before they are considered for a trade license.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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