Industrial Association Challenges 30 Fees Relating to Licensing, Authorization and Registration Requirements

Industrial Association Challenges 30 Fees Relating to Licensing, Authorization and Registration Requirements

The Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) will challenge in the Supreme Administrative Court some 30 fees relating to licensing, authorization and registration requirements by the year's end. The fees are to increase between five and ten times in 2008. A 24 per cent increase (by 115 million leva) in stamp duty revenues is projected for 2008, BIA Vice President Dikran Tebeyan said on Monday.

The largest increase is in health care. BIA argues that the rise runs counter to regulations which stipulate that that fees should cover the administrative expenses involved in providing a service.

A survey commissioned by BIA, entitled "2007 as Seen by Businesses", found that 55 per cent of business representatives expressed a negative attitude to the municipal administration. This is due in part to the introduction of regulatory requirements specific to a municipality, which place an additional burden on businesses. It turns out that fees which should presumably cover the same administrative expenses vary between municipalities.

Businesses expressed the strongest disapproval of the National Assembly, while the Presidency received the strongest approval, 61 per cent, followed by the tax administration with 41 per cent, its highest approval ever.

Business representatives thought the levels of crime, corruption and the grey economy remained unchanged from 2006. They indicated that corruption was most often linked with public procurement, regulatory requirements and the judiciary.

The lack of skilled labor is another problem to businesses, with one in two employers complaining of a workforce shortage.

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