Chamber suggests withdrawal of draft partnership regulation

PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry has recommended that Members of Parliament (MPs) do away with a pending change to the Civil Code regulating partnerships.

The argument is that a similar regulation was withdrawn in The Netherlands some five months ago because it was deemed not beneficial to business.
 
Chamber President Arthur Bute and Vice President Ludwig Ouenniche pointed out in a Central Committee hearing on Tuesday afternoon that focus should be placed on the revamping of the "pretty archaic" laws on sole proprietorship.
 
President of Parliament Gracita Arrindell said the withdrawal in The Netherlands had been taken into consideration by Justice Minister Roland Duncan. In correspondence to Parliament Duncan had indicated that the draft was not a copy of the regulation of The Netherlands. MPs will have to decide on how to proceed on this matter as they wrap up hearings on the Civil Code amendments.
 
Pending changes to the Civil Code seek to establish set guidelines for all partnerships, instead of having different, outdated regulations for the creation of partnerships between companies.
 
Association President Henry Parisius had told Members of Parliament (MPs) earlier in the year that notaries are in favour of the changes that would modernise the Civil Code and group all partnership regulations under one umbrella. He noted that when similar changes had been proposed in The Netherlands, civil law notaries and lawyers there were much in favour of the changes.
 
Several MPs also agreed in Tuesday's meeting with the need to better regulate sole proprietorships to give access to insurance, among other benefits. Arrindell suggested that the permanent committees of Parliament deal with this as soon as possible.
 
Most outspoken about the sole proprietorship was Democratic Party (DP) MP Leroy de Weever. He said there was too much playing of politics with the lives of the people because of plans of the former government to possibly abolish this type of business construction. He said people should be allowed to expand without the input of government.
 
De Weever claimed that more than 500 business licences had been held back by the former government for political reasons. Young people, he said, need to be encouraged to own businesses and not be held at "the whims of the political society."
 
Independent MP Romain Laville called for tax incentives such as tax holidays for small business and young people to encourage entrepreneurship and employment.
 
United People's (UP) party MP Jules James said more than tax incentives, education about business responsibility for taxes would be "more beneficial" to new businesses operated by young people.
 
Several other MPs also gave their views on business creation and the role of the Chamber.

(The Daily Herald)

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