Visakhapatnam: In a representation submitted to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on Wednesday, the AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation (APCCIF) has sought the establishment of a special task force exclusively for ease of doing business and reducing litigation between business and government.
Submitting a 17-point charter suggesting ways to improve India's ranking in the ease of doing business, APCCIF said the proposed special task force should meet every 15 days and receive complaints through a dedicated helpline and have a joint resolution from industry (reports from trade bodies) and bureaucracy. This highest dispute resolution mechanism can both formally and informally help in EODB by resolving issues quickly and also giving advance tax rulings when approached, APCCIF said.
The Commerce Ministry is planning to appoint a consulting agency for assistance in improving India's business climate and bettering its ranking in World Bank's ease of doing business index. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under the ministry, said the government has undertaken series of reforms to make India an easier place to do business in.
But there is still need to do a lot more to achieve the vision of becoming top country in ease of doing business (EoDB), it said in its request for proposal for "assistance in ease of doing business initiatives and for improving country's ranking in World Bank doing business index". "There are major requirements of business reform initiatives to be undertaken by the concerned Ministries and departments for promoting EoDB in India," it added. It said in light of an experience of last two years with the reform and ranking process, DIPP is expected to play a proactive role and provide insights to concerned ministries and state governments to ensure effective implementation of reforms.
NEW DELHI: To improve India’s ranking in the world of business and attract investments, the government has constituted a nine-member task force, which will prepare a roadmap for the judiciary so that more companies invest in India and face minimal litigation. The Ministry of Law and Justice under the aegis of Secretary, Department of Justice, has listed 12 reforms that should be adopted by courts to improve India’s present World Bank ranking of 130 out of 189 countries.
India improved its position on three counts—starting a business, getting construction permits and accessing electricity—in the 2015 edition of the Ease of Doing Business Index, but saw its performance go down in accessing credit and paying taxes. The panel will comprise Joint Secretary Shailendra Singh, Department of Industrial and Promotion, Registrar General, Delhi High Court, Bombay High Court, Secretary (Law), Delhi and Maharashtra government, Joint secretary (e-courts), Department of Justice and Mahendra Khandelwal, Additional Legal Adviser, Department of Legal Affairs.
Seeking to make India a hub of international arbitration and to accelerate the system of alternate dispute resolution, the government today set up a high-level committee to recommend ways to make arbitration more efficient. The committee will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna. It will submit its report in 90 days. "In order to ensure speedy resolution of commercial disputes and to facilitate effective conduct of international and domestic arbitrations raised under various agreements, it has been considered necessary to go into various factors to accelerate arbitration mechanism and strengthen the arbitration ecosystem in the country.
"It is also important to examine specific issues and roadmap required to make India a robust centre for international and domestic arbitration," Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here. The minister said the government has been taking legislative and administrative initiatives arbitration with an aim of minimising court intervention, bring down costs, fix time lines for expeditious disposal, and ensure neutrality of arbitrator and enforcement of awards.
As part of ease of doing business, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has taken several initiatives, including an introduction of a direct port delivery system. "Given the fact that 55 percent of the total container handling of all the Indian ports in done at JNPT, our performance is essential from the perspective of India's global ranking," Anil Diggikar, chairman and managing director of the port trust said here today. "Direct port delivery is one of the latest initiatives on our part to better our performance," he added. According to Diggikar, JNPT is "successful in matching several of international benchmarks in port productivity parameters".
This has also resulted in over 10 per cent growth in operational income, while operational profits have gone up by 16 percent, he claimed. Elaborating on various parameters, Diggikar said the Import Dwell Time has come down from 75.78 hours two year back to 33.36 hours, while the international benchmark is of 36 hours. Likewise turnaround time has come down from 2.24 days to 1.77 days, were the benchmark is 2.2 days, he claimed.
The departments of commerce as well as industrial policy and promotion are focussing on measures that are important and yet have “limited budget implications” so that they can be considered for inclusion in the upcoming Budget papers, senior government officials told FE.
The process started after a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to identify all those steps that are crucial in terms of their potential impact on the economy and job creation and yet cost less to the exchequer, in addition to the usual “large measures”, said one of the officials.“The aim is to go for particularly low-hanging fruit with limited budget implications,” said another official.
From making the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board a reality to tweaking norms for improved ease of doing business, the Corporate Affairs Ministry strived to strike the right note this year even as further amendments to the new companies law got entangled in Parliament logjam. Pushing forward with implementation of pending provisions in the Companies Act, 2013, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) replacing the Company Law Board (CLB), and its appellate authority were also put in place.
Seen as one of the key reforms of the NDA regime, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) came into existence in a short span of time this year soon after Parliament gave its nod to the legislation in this regard. IBBI officially started functioning from December 1 bringing into force the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code that seeks to ensure insolvency resolution of corporate entities, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.
Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) expressed their appreciation towards Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Hon’ble Minister of Textiles, Government of India and Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Hon’ble Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, to have exempted loose garments from the Packaged Commodities Act.
As per the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Act 2011, there were no clear labelling guidelines for loose garments, which made it difficult for apparel retailers to demarcate the labelling procedure between the pre-packaged and loose garments, thus causing unnecessary inconvenience during inspections at apparel retail showrooms. The provisions of the Act were very severe for any offense and Directors of the Company were directly responsible for the same.
In 2017, World Bank’s “Doing business” project ranks India 130th out of 190 countries. Rankings are a function of how other countries also perform. Ignoring that point, these rankings are based on 10 heads: Starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property; getting credit; protecting minority investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency. There is another head on labour, but that doesn’t enter the overall rankings. Compared to the other nine, the eighth head, trading across borders, receives relatively less attention in reform discussions. Let’s first understand what the World Bank does.
As most people know, the entire World Bank exercise is based on two cities, Delhi and Mumbai. Specifically, on trading across borders, there is an export side and an import side. For exports, a shipment has to go from a warehouse in India (Mumbai/Delhi) to the US. The representative item is electrical machinery and equipment. For imports, it is the reverse and the representative item is parts and accessories of motor vehicles, imported from the Republic of Korea. The respective ports are Nhava Sheva and Mundra.
In an effort to improve the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking of India to top 50 countries in the World Bank report, the government on Tuesday announced the formation of Nodal Departments for a ‘reform process.’ “…DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) informed that Nodal Departments have been identified for each indicator who will lead the reform process ensuring country’s improvement in ranking across the 10 indicators,” the government said.
In the meeting that was held on December 19 and headed by the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, the government said that the departments gave a brief overview of the reforms undertaken recently and agreed to implement the suggested reforms by January, 2017. “It was further agreed that the Departments will hold intensive stakeholder consultation to get their feedback on the reforms undertaken and also engage with the respondents to ensure that the reforms are felt at the ground level,” the government added.