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Story published in the Trinidad Guardian on Wednesday 29 January, 2020.

Through the Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try’s Sin­gle Elec­tron­ic Win­dow (SEW), the Min­istry of Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment will soon be launch­ing a plat­form called De­vel­opTT that will con­tribute to an im­prove­ment in Trinidad and Tobago’s per­for­mance in the Glob­al Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness In­dex, a state­ment from the Min­istry said.

This coun­try has placed 105 out of 190 economies in 2018 and 2019’s an­nu­al rat­ings.

Minister in the Ministry of Planning & Development, the Honourable Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Coburn (second from left) receives a brief on the Ministry of Planning & Development from Permanent Secretary Mrs. Joanne Deoraj. Looking on from left are Mrs. Ayleen Ovid, Deputy PS; Mr. Ric Javed Ali Deputy PS and Ms. Melanie Noel, Director of HR.

The Min­istry ex­plained that main ob­jec­tive of De­vel­opTT will be to en­sure the per­mit­ting process is faster and more ef­fi­cient, so builders and de­vel­op­ers can move to the de­vel­op­ment and con­struc­tion stage a lot faster.

This al­so ap­plies to oth­er el­e­ments of the Town and Coun­try Plan­ning Di­vi­sion’s (TCPD) mandate which au­gur to the ben­e­fit of busi­ness­es get­ting off the ground in a faster time frame.

Once ful­ly im­ple­ment­ed, T&T’s ease of do­ing busi­ness has the po­ten­tial to in­crease to the top 25 in the world, the Min­istry not­ed.

“De­vel­opTT, which large­ly en­tails the au­toma­tion of the con­struc­tion per­mit­ting process is T&T’s fu­tur­is­tic on­line por­tal for con­struc­tion and de­vel­op­ment per­mit­ting,” the state­ment said.

Plan­ning Min­is­ter Cher­rie-Ann Crichlow-Cock­burn said through De­vel­opTT, the con­struc­tion and de­vel­op­ment ap­proval and ap­pli­ca­tion process­es will be trans­formed from pa­per based to an on­line sys­tem.

Once ful­ly im­ple­ment­ed, T&T’s ease of do­ing business has the po­ten­tial to in­crease to the top 25 in the world.

The ac­tu­al project was launched in 2018, which com­prised the de­vel­op­ment of the on­line Devel­opTT plat­form as well as the re-en­gi­neer­ing of the busi­ness process­es of the pi­lot agen­cies in­volved in the con­struc­tion per­mit­ting process, the state­ment said.

Development Control Inspectors (DCIs) from the Town and Country Planning Division test out the site inspection feature on the DevelopTT system.

It added that the pi­lot agen­cies in­volved in­clude the TCPD, the re­gion­al cor­po­ra­tions, High­ways Di­vi­sion and Drainage Di­vi­sion of the Min­istry of Works and Trans­port, the Fire Pre­ven­tion Admin­is­tra­tion of the T&T Fire Ser­vice, WASA, the En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Au­thor­i­ty, Commis­sion­er of State Lands and the Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Co­rpora­tion (HDC).

“To date, the busi­ness process­es have been re-en­gi­neered, the soft­ware de­vel­oped, train­ing in the use of the sys­tem has be­gun with­in the pi­lot agen­cies, as well as with sam­ples of users from the pub­lic, and the next stage is a pi­lot fo­cus­ing on Port-of-Spain and parts of the north re­gion and then a na­tionwide roll out of the sys­tem once all of the bugs have been elim­i­nat­ed,” the Min­istry said.

New measure announced to improve the ease of doing business (Trinidad Guardian)