First Citizens Group Chief Executive Officer Karen Darbasie during her presentation of the bank’s 22nd annual shareholders meeting at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre yesterday.

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 T&T’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.

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 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.

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.

It added that the pilot agencies involved include the Town and Country Planning Division, 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 and the Housing Development Cooperation.

“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 nation-wide roll out of the system once all of the bugs have been eliminated,” the ministry said.