The government’s will is towards ensuring entrepreneurial fight back in the COVID-19 regime, the steps are taken to motivate and support the entrepreneurs who are struggling with COVID-19 crisis. There are additional steps needed for bringing further ease of doing business in the country to bring more domestic and foreign investments, and help India in its aim of becoming self-reliant, a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) statement said.
The industry body has identified immediate and medium-term measures in terms of ease of doing business to boost the economy.
“While many policies have been announced for a facilitative investment climate, effective translation into ground-level outcomes will help investor perceptions and further boost confidence. We believe that taking the ease of doing business route can unlock huge potential at a time when the world is seeking new investment opportunities,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
The statement noted that central and state governments have introduced a plethora of reforms across the various areas of doing business, which helped India leap to the 63rd rank in the latest Doing Business Report of the World Bank. Sustaining this reform momentum can drive new investments including from overseas, CII said.
It has sought effective implementation of Online Single Window System as the first step towards strengthening ease of doing business. Regular monitoring by the Chief Secretary of a state, time-bound approvals and single interface should be implemented in all states, it said.
Currently, only 21 states have implemented this system. For a business entity, there should not be any other point of interface with the government, other than the single window system, it added.
CII noted that simplifying property registration and acquisition of land is critical. The industry should be permitted to buy land directly from farmers with deemed approval after 30 days. Digitisation and integration of land records and a single online portal with integrated information can help in titling. Compliances for labour regulations could be speeded up at lower costs, according to the industry body.
As per CII, enforcing contracts is a challenge due to insufficient commercial courts and infrastructure. It suggests major digital reforms such as virtual court proceedings, e-filing, and work from home to speed up court deliberations.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution institutions can be expanded in all parts of the country with arbitration and mediation centres, it said, adding that over the medium term, judicial capacity must be enhanced with specialized commercial courts at High Courts and District Courts.
It also said that MSMEs need a special helping hand and should be exempted from approvals and inspections for three years under state laws while following all rules. Self certification route can be used for renewal and approvals for MSMEs with a good track record.
India’s high logistics costs impact its competitiveness, said the statement. This will require medium term action such as increasing the share of railways and waterways in transport, improving first-mile and last-mile connectivity and reducing port dwell time.
Cross-subsidisation of freight should be rationalised, CII said among other suggestions.