Regulation Streamlining to Save 1.5 Billion Shekels Annually

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu points to a graph during the weekly cabinet meeting, Sunday. (Abir Sultan/Pool via Reuters)

Multi-ministerial plans to cut the regulatory burden will save the economy an estimated 1.5 billion shekels every year, according to a government report released on Sunday.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hailed the initial progress in the five-year plan at a Cabinet meeting, and Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Director General Ronen Peretz briefed ministers on the main findings. The PMO yearbook details 58 plans by the various government ministries that will directly save the economy approximately NIS 1.5 billion per annum and lead to a savings of over 7 million days per annum in the numbers of days waiting for permits.

The book includes plans from 12 ministries and three authorities (Tax Authority, Consumer Protection Authority and the Competitiveness Authority). The plans were formulated by the various ministries and coordinated by the PMO.

Over 50 requirements were cancelled or reduced (such as cancellation of the demand for a license and test to be a real estate broker, cancellation of the requirement for a minimum number of vehicles to receive a license to operate a vehicle leasing company, and cancellation of structural requirements for small pastry bakeries.) Over fifty digitized government processes (such as transition to online licensing examinations, tax payment receipts, etc.) were enacted.

These plans are part of the government’s five-year plan to reduce the regulatory burden which, along with the other steps that have been decided upon over the past two years, are expected to lead to an annual cumulative savings of over NIS 4 billion and over 49 million waiting days.

The significant improvement in regulation was reflected in the recently-published OECD Product Market Regulation index. The 2013 index ranked Israel next-to-last between Turkey and Mexico. In the current index, Israel has jumped 16 places and has overtaken many advanced countries. The index is published every five years.