Govt takes steps to improve ease of doing business

Moves to cut registration time to 1 day

Govt takes steps to improve ease of doing business

 In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to make India a better place to carry out investments, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Commerce Ministry has taken up a series of measures to improve the business climate in the country.

Under this, the process of applying for industrial license has been made online and the service is now available to entrepreneurs round the clock at the e-biz portals of ministries. Self-certification has been introduced for all non-risk, non-hazardous businesses.

“The government is trying to minimise the interface between officials and investors at various points. This will reduce the time taken in conducting business and corruption such as bribery,” an official said, elaborating on steps by the DIPP.

A checklist with specific time-lines has been developed for processing all applications filed by foreign investors in cases relating to retail businesses. The clearances will be given on-line.

To simplify and reform the complex web of taxation, the DIPP has suggested that all returns be filed on-line through a unified form. A single payment mechanism will expedite the implementation of Goods and Services Tax and Direct Tax Code,” the official said.

Radical improvements

He said that the project would result in radical improvements in ease of doing business by reducing time, efforts and costs taken in obtaining clearances and ensuring compliances. 

To inject life into the SEZs, the department has suggested the abolition of minimum alternate tax (MAT) on SEZ developers and units.

All the secretaries of the Government of India and chief secretaries of the states have been asked to simplify and rationalise the regulatory hurdles.  A meeting of officials from various ministries including home ministry has already taken place on the issue. It has been stipulated that the home ministry would give security clearance to an industrial licence within weeks instead of months.

Key areas

The government has identified eight key areas where amendments need to be carried out in the existing rules and regulations to make the Make in India initiative a success. 

Presently, it takes 27 days to register a new business in India, and the government is endeavouring to reduce it to one day. On an average, a firm makes 33 tax payments in a year and spend 243 hours in filing taxes. Efforts are being made to reduce number of taxes along with allowing online payment, the official said.

Exporting any goods requires nine documents takes 16 days and costs $1,170. While importing, it requires 11 documents and takes 29 days and costs $1,250. 

“The government wants to reduce the documentation process. Just three documents will be required now on,” the official said. According to a World Bank report, India has slipped three positions to 134th in the latest ‘ease of doing business’ list. Singapore tops the list.

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