Higher permit fees increase construction complication
Construction is The Bahamas’ third largest sector, behind financial services and tourism. However, a recent report by the World Bank Group concluded that The Bahamas made dealing with construction permits more costly by increasing building permit fees.
The report asserted that the regulation of construction is critical to protect the public. But, it needs to be efficient to avoid excessive constraints on a sector that plays an important part in every economy.
The consequences of making it more costly to deal with construction permits in The Bahamas were pointed out in the report.
“Where complying with building regulations is excessively costly in time and money, many builders opt out. They may pay bribes to pass inspections or simply build illegally, leading to hazardous construction that puts public safety at risk,” the report said.
It has also been an initiative by “governments around the world” to work on consolidating permit requirements.
Getting a construction permit in The Bahamas requires 16 procedures, takes 180 days and costs one percent of warehouse value.
These facts explained the country’s ranking of 110 out of 190 economies on the ease of dealing with construction permits.
The Bahamas’ ranking was also compared to other economies’ and the region’s average ranking to provide other useful information for assessing how “easy it is for an entrepreneur in The Bahamas to legally build a warehouse”.
In comparison, St Lucia ranked 54th, Jamaica 75th, Antigua and Barbuda 107th, Barbados 161th, the United States 39th and the United Kingdom 17th.