Kerala to review rules to improve ease of doing business

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 15, 2018

The Kerala Cabinet has decided to pilot a Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Act with a view to improving the state’s ranking with respect to ‘ease of doing business.’

This is among a series of steps being contemplated to rationalise rules and ease up on procedures to make clearances easy and facilitate industrial investments.

Thorough review

Accordingly, the Kerala Panchayati Raj Act, the Kerala Municipalities Act, building rules, and host of other Acts and rules relevant to granting clearances will be subjected to through review.

The single window clearance system would be strengthened and made more effective. An investment promotion and facilitation centre comprising officers of various departments, agencies and the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, will be constituted.

District-level committees will also be formed under the district collector and comprising officials of various departments. The Cabinet also accepted a recommendation to make available a single form for applying for clearances from various departments.

IT tools will be increasingly used to ease procedures and improve the state’s ranking in in the ease of doing business index prepared by the World Bank.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Centre has already started a ranking system for States on the basis of the facilities provided by the respective governments.

May lose powers

Once the Acts and rules get rationalised, local governments would lose discretionary powers for issuing and scrapping industrial licences.

They would have to take decisions on the basis of the reports of the departments concerned. The clearance of the District Medical Officer would be made applicable only for hospitals, para-medical and other health institutions. Issue of permits for setting up factories would be speeded up.

Advance clearance would not henceforth be needed for starting industries in the ‘green’ and ‘white’ categories. Licence for such units could be secured by remitting a fee.

Guidelines would be drawn up for a grievance redressal mechanism. An amendment to relevant Acts is being planned to end the system of indiscreet issue of ‘stop memos’ to industrial units.

It has also been proposed to increase the licence tenure from one to five years. Amendments to rules and Acts would be subject to clearance of the Law Department.

Published on April 05, 2017

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