Netanyahu: Israel must continue to reduce bureaucracy

More than 50 government processes have been digitized, the Prime Minister's Office said, including issuing tax payment receipts and transitioning to online licensing examinations.

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July 8, 2019 02:39
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Netanyahu in a cabinet meeting on May 12, 2019

Prime Minister Netanyahu in a cabinet meeting on May 12, 2019, during which he announced the location of a new town, named after President Trump, to be built in the Golan Heights. (photo credit: YANIR COZIN / MAARIV)

 
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented the cabinet with updated efforts to lower Israel’s regulatory burden, vowing to continue reducing bureaucracy for the benefit of consumers.

The Prime Minister’s Office regulatory burden yearbook, an annual update on the government’s five-year regulation reduction plan, contains 58 plans presented by government ministries to reduce regulatory procedures and save the economy an estimated NIS 1.5 billion and seven million “waiting days” for permits per annum.

“I want to be one of the least bureaucratic countries, least regulated countries, in the world, because this means money in consumers’ pockets,” Netanyahu said on Sunday.

According to the OECD’s Product Market Regulation index published every five years, the State of Israel suffered from the second-most severe regulatory burden in the Western world as recently as 2013, with only Turkey registering an inferior score.

By 2018, Israel had jumped 16 places in the index to 18th out of 36 OECD countries, recording an average regulatory burden.

“I am not satisfied with this,” said Netanyahu. “I want another jump forward. I want to be above the average; in the middle is not a good place. We will continue on this path... This is welcome activity, out of the public eye, but felt in the pocket.”

Coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Office, the yearbook presented to the cabinet includes plans formulated by 12 ministries, in addition to the Tax Authority, Consumer Protection Authority and the Competitiveness Authority.

Based on evaluations of 40 permits and licenses of various kinds, 10 import and export procedures, and 13 regulatory or registration procedures for 13 professions, the government’s five-year regulation reduction plan aims for total savings to exceed NIS 4b. and more than 49 million waiting days.

Over 50 regulatory requirements have been canceled or reduced to date, the yearbook stated, including canceling the requirement for a license or test to be a real estate broker, and canceling the requirement for a minimum number of vehicles to receive a leasing company license.

More than 50 government processes have been digitized, the Prime Minister’s Office said, including issuing tax payment receipts and transitioning to online licensing examinations.

“A smart regulatory policy, based on increased effectiveness of regulation on the one hand and a reduced regulatory burden on the other, has found direct expression in the protection of social values, a lower cost of living and an improved workplace,” said Prime Minister’s Office deputy director-general, Ronen Peretz.

“Therefore, it is one of the government’s main goals. In the four years that have passed since the start of the five-year plan to reduce the regulatory burden, the Prime Minister’s Office, together with the other ministries, has invested major resources and efforts in achieving these goals.”

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