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Ease of Doing Biz: Govt Seeks Industry Views


New Delhi: The government is seeking feedback from industry on the hurdles they face when dealing with regulatory bodies, a move aimed at making it easier to do business in the country.

“We are working towards improving our rankings on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, and also taking it a step further to address industry concerns which they cannot convey directly to these bodies,” a senior government official, who did not wish to be named, said. India was ranked 130 out 189 economies in the ‘Doing Business’ report for 2016, up from 142 in 2015. It has set a target of breaking into the top 100 next year and the top 50 within the next three years.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) wants to identify all points of public interface at regulatory bodies — such as the Securities and ExchangeBoard of India (Sebi), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (Fssai) — and ministries and thereafter reduce them to share minimum. This would require digiti-sation and simplification of processes.

Industry bodies such as Confederation of Indian Industry (CD) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), which have often raised issues regarding regulatory bodies, have been involved in this process.

“There is plenty of scope of improvement, but one will have to deep-dive to understand issues specific to each body,” said Jaijit Bhattacharya, partner- government services and infrastructure, IIPMG India. “Changes have to be made without compromising with the regulation itself.”

After collating the responses, the DIPP will discuss the issues with regulators and suggest ways of making improvements. “Regulators are autonomous bodies, but we are confident that when suggestions would come from the top-most government authority, they would lead to some on-ground action,” the official quoted earlier said.

India’s market regulator Sebi was ranked higher than countries including the US, Germany and Japan for protection of minority investors in last year’s Doing Business Report of the World Bank.

In order to make it easier to do business in India, the government plans to have single-window clearance for food imports, paperless income tax assessment, and reduce compliances, among other initiatives. If pending legislations such as the goods and service tax and bankruptcy bills are passed in the budget session, they will add to improving the business environment of the country. Last year, the government introduced ease of doing business ranking for all states to set in motion long-pending reforms such as single-window clearance, construction permits, and simplifying applications at the state level.

Source: Economic Times

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