Plans to minimise impact of new business regulations

The Government says it realises some new regulations are making life tougher for businesses just as economic restructuring is hurting too - but it is working to minimise the impact of such moves.

Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said in Parliament yesterday that the Government is aware of the challenges that these new regulations may cause.

"We do recognise that this is imposing high compliance costs on businesses and we're also concerned about it."

He noted that different regulatory agencies have put out new rules and guidelines based on their objectives.

Such changes could add to a firm's operational costs in an already difficult environment of a tight labour market as businesses grapple with the pressures of economic restructuring.

But Mr Lim said a whole-of-government approach is being adopted to first ensure that the various regulations do not run counter to one another.

He added that the Government is looking into how the pace of changes can be better managed.

Mr Lim was responding to Ms Foo Mee Har's (West Coast GRC) questions on the raft of new regulations facing businesses.

Ms Foo cited the examples of the Monetary Authority of Singapore's new rules to combat money laundering and terror funding as well as regulations to improve construction safety.

She also asked if the Government would look into helping workers who lose their jobs because of economic restructuring. Mr Lim replied that the Government is working with the labour movement to help upgrade the skills of workers whose jobs may be at risk in the restructuring.

"This is something that is very important to us because the key to all this is to make sure that... the skills of the job levels are raised so that we can justify higher wages and, commensurate with this, the skill level of the workers has to be improved."

This article was first published on August 6, 2014.
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