In its efforts to improve the business climate in the country, Government of India is trying hard to improve the country’s ranking in the World Bank’s report on Ease of Doing Business. Currently ranked at 130, India has a long way to go to enter the top 100. Beside this, the ranking in 'Starting a Business' has fallen from 151 to 155, which may be another point of concern for the government.
Recently, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, where secretaries of various departments of the Central government also participated. The secretary of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) informed that nodal departments have been identified for each indicator (contributing to overall ease of doing business). They will lead the reform process ensuring country’s improvement in ranking across the 10 indicators. According to an official release, departments gave a brief overview of the reforms undertaken recently and agreed to implement the suggested reforms by January, 2017. In this regard, each department shall review the progress every week for carrying out the necessary reforms.
The major decisions taken during the meeting to take India to top 50 in 'Ease of Doing Business' ranking were:
- An eBiz portal shall be mandated for starting a business, which shall include three services of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, registration for PAN and TAN, and also for EPFO & ESIC.
- The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, CBDT, Ministry of Labour & 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.
- Shram Suvidha Portal shall be the only portal for filing returns, challan and making online payment for EPFO & ESIC contributions as well as other filings and payments.
- Department of Revenue and Ministry of Shipping shall work towards increasing the number of direct delivery consignments to 40 percent by end of this month. The departments shall also ensure that the cost and time to export and import gets reduced substantially to bring India within top 50 ranks.
- Ministry of Corporate Affairs shall work with the concerned stakeholders so that the provisions recently enabled under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code are implemented through NCLT.
- To further improve the country’s rank in the indicator ‘Getting Credit’, Department of Financial Services and Ministry of Corporate Affairs shall work towards integrating CERSAI database with ROC Registry of Charges to create a single registry of assets.
- In the indicator ‘Enforcing Contracts’, the Union Commerce and Industry Minister mentioned that the country ranks poorly, at 172, and efforts are required on many reforms to bring the country among the top 50 nations. She also mentioned that the initiative of e-courts should be expedited for electronic filing of complaints, summons and payments, especially in commercial courts.
- On ‘Construction Permit’, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development mentioned that the procedures shall be brought down to eight, to be completed within 60 days. However, the Finance Minister desired that the department should explore the possibility of commencing the construction on architect’s certification and approval being granted only at the time of the occupancy of the building.
The next review of the progress made on reforms is due at the end of January. This aims at ensuring the implementation of reforms within the timeframe agreed upon. We'll get back to you with updates.