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Saturday, 18 March 2017

Over-regulating small businesses will hamper the economy

MEDIA reports show how small businesses are being incessantly over-regulated by people who have no idea on how businesses work.

Small businesses by nature and definition do not have the resources or the time to pay undying attention of the ever increasing plethora of regulations.

At one point, price control was just on essential items but now even roti canai is subject to it as well.

This needless price control is definitely going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

I always wondered how it was that folk selling roti canai and bread were subject to this strict control, whereas the ever increasing cost of generic and branded medicine was not, as well as banks, who are churning out ever increasing billions year on year.

In my opinion, the price control is targeting small and retail businesses as this is within the ambit of the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry while the rest are not.

It is an easy prey to chalk up the KPIs which does not help consumers and harmful for national economic development.

What is worse is these laws and enforcement are being done by those who have absolutely no idea how businesses are being run and therefore cannot fathom what is what in their investigations.

As it is, a small business will need to submit monthly returns for income tax, EPF and Socso, and may be HRDF, which is a ludicrous amount of work.

I have suggested many times to have only one master form to submit all monthly deductions, but this is never going to happen as everyone has a different system and there is no push to harmonise them as the law is on their side.

The final outcome of this over-the-top regulations for small businesses will be that they are eventually bled dry and the growth engine of our economy will wind down.

R. KRISHNAN

Kuala Lumpur

Tags / Keywords: Central Region , SME , KPI , price control

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