Source: Business Standard, Dec 21, 2016
New Delhi: Aiming to break into the top 50 best countries to do business in, the government has identified areas requiring doing away with complex rules and simplifying procedures to enable businesses to start in four days’ flat.
With India ranked poorly at 130 among 190 nations on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday held a meeting to identify areas to improve the business climate and the country’s ranking by cutting down on steps required to start a venture and make easy credit available.
An e-biz portal will be a one-stop shop for dealing with matters related to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs as well as registrations of PAN/TAN and employee provident fund/employee insurance.
“The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, CBDT (Central Board of Direct Prices), the Ministry of Labour and Employment will work towards reducing the number of procedures for starting a business to four and the number of days to start a business also to four,” an official statement said.
Currently, it takes a minimum of three weeks to start a company in India.Shram Suvidha Portal will be the only portal for filing returns, challans and making online payment for the Employee Provident Fund Organisation and the Employee State Insurance Corporation. The Department of Revenue and the Ministry of Shipping will work towards increasing the number of direct delivery consignments to 40 per cent by the end of this month.They will also have to ensure the cost and time to export and import get reduced substantially to bring India within the top 50.
In the World Bank’s latest “Doing Business” report, which ranks 190 nations on how easy it is for private companies to follow regulations in 11 areas, India comes in at 130.
Though this was an improvement of one place over the last year, the World Bank altered how it computed the rankings to give its rank in last year’s report, four spots above its position from the year before.
At the meeting, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said nodal departments have been identified for each indicator which will lead the reform process ensuring the country’s improvement in ranking across the 10 indicators, the statement said.
At the meeting on Monday, it was also decided that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs will work with the stakeholders concerned so that the provisions including the one recently enabled under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code are implemented through the National Company Law Tribunal.
“To further improve the country’s ranking in the indicator of ‘Getting Credit’, the Department of Financial Services and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs shall work towards integrating CERSAI database with RoC Registry of Charges to create a single registry of assets,” it said.
The departments gave a snapshot of the recent reforms and agreed to implement the suggested ones by January 2017.
It was further agreed that the departments will hold intensive stakeholder consultations to get their feedback on the reforms undertaken and engage with the respondents to ensure the reforms are felt at the ground level.
Each department has been asked to review the progress every week for carrying out the necessary reforms.
At the meet, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that India ranks poorly at 172 on the indicator of enforcing contracts and efforts need to be taken to bring the country among the top 50 nations.
She also mentioned that the initiative of eCourts should be expedited for electronic filing of complaints, summons and payments, especially in commercial courts.
On construction permits, the urban development secretary stated that the procedures will be brought down to eight within 60 days.Jaitley, however, “desired that the department should explore the possibility of commencing construction on architect’s certification and approval granted only at the time of the occupancy of the building”.
The next review of the progress in reforms will be held at the end of January to ensure their implementation.
The meeting was also attended by Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal.
Secretaries of departments of economic affairs, industrial policy and promotion, corporate affairs, justice, urban development, civil aviation, revenue and land resources, CBEC chairperson and chief secretary of NCT of Delhi and top officials of Maharashtra were present.