Fourteen projects, valued at $188 million, will start running as soon as they have obtained the permits which had previously been held up due to bureaucratic obstacles.
Elmundo.sv reports that "... The projects will start to be executed after the National Administration of Aqueducts and Sewers (ANDA) and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) expedite the granting of permits, said the Government, as a result of joint work with private enterprise. "
A new proposal from the business sector aims not only to propose solutions to the fiscal problem but also strengthen productive areas in order to grow in a sustainable manner.
The National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP) has summarized its proposals based on four pillars: economic growth, combating and reducing poverty, strengthening democratic institutions, and a pact on fiscal responsibility.
In El Salvador, the decision taken by the Sanchez Ceren administration not to attend the main business event in the country reveals either disinclination, inability to govern, or simple political manichaeism.
Maybe it is a persistence of visualizing the world as it was in the last century, dividing it into two antagonistic parties, capital on the one hand and labour on the other.
The productive sectors have indicated that the state budget approved for 2015 is underfinanced and will force the government to raise taxes or issue more debt in order to comply with it.
The approved general budget for the nation is $4.824 billion an amount which according to the private sector can not be covered by current tax revenues, therefore in order to raise this amount there must be either be cuts made to services such as subsidies or social programs, increases or creation of more taxes, or more debt taken on.
Employers point to political instability, energy costs and lack of infrastructure as the main factors keeping out investment and reducing competitiveness.
A survey carried out with employers by the National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP) showed as its first result the lack of competitiveness of the country in terms of attracting foreign investment, due to uncertainty created by political instability.
The private sector has proposed creating development zones with specific tax laws and tax free status in order to encourage local and foreign investment.
Following a concept created by economist Paul Romer and implemented in cities such as Hong Kong, and proposed in Honduras through the passage of a law last year, Salvadoran businessmen are proposing 29 law reforms in order to create development zones which have their own laws to enhance the competitiveness of companies located within them.
Businessmen are proposing that the management of customs cease to be the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and instead be managed by a company from the private sector.
In order to streamline the procedures for customs and facilitate intraregional trade Salvadoran businessmen have prepared a series of proposals to the government, including the creation of a Customs Superintendent managed jointly by the public and private sectors.
The government has agreed to modify the terms of the tax reform proposal to take into account criticisms made by the private sector.
Salvadoran private companies have outlined to officials the adverse effects that the country would face if the proposed new tax measures were applied, receiving signals of openness to a discussion from the Government, who for the first time since 2009 and 2010 has agreed to negotiate tax reforms with entrepreneurs.
The business climate, smuggling and taxes have forced the tobacco company to close its operation in the country.
In a letter sent on March 5, to their suppliers, British American Tobacco announced the closure of its operations in El Salvador. The increase in smuggling and lack of competitiveness in terms of cost are some of the reasons for its departure.
The improvised implementation of a new system of customs administration and the opposition to the collection of $18 for each declaration of goods is already affecting regional trade.
The implementation of an inspection system for cargo transportation in El Salvador has not only generated traffic chaos but has also caused delays in intraregional trade. Private unions think that this is happening because pilot tests were not carried out prior to implementation.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the collection of a 1% tax over revenue as minimum payment for income tax is unconstitutional.
The ruling came months after the submission of a claim of unconstitutionality "through a legal team set up by the National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP), along with union representatives and other affected MSMEs," reported Laprensagrafica.com .
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