Saturday, September 18, 2021

Punjab scraps 479 mandatory approvals for setting industry

Continuing with its endeavour to promote trade and industry besides improving ‘ease of doing business’ in the state, the Punjab Government has done away with 479 compliances that were earlier required for seeking various approvals and renewals by the industrialists.

These compliances were part of a total 541 age-old mandatory approvals identified to be scrapped under Phase-I of reducing compliance burden by various departments

After doing away with this unnecessary paperwork, the state government submitted its action plan on the Union Government’s DPIIT portal on March 31.

Besides, the process was in progress to scrap more compliances that require certain amendments to the existing laws.

This was disclosed by Punjab Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, after chairing a high-level meeting with the administrative secretaries to review the progress of reducing regulatory compliance burden and implementation of the recommendations in this regard to promote ‘ease of doing business’ for the MSMEs in the state, on Monday.

Ms Mahajan also analysed the proposals submitted by the Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) and reviewed the user feedback strategy for State Reforms Action Plan (SRAP) 2020-21.

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The Chief Secretary directed the administrative secretaries to identify rules, regulations and archaic laws, which prescribe imprisonment as punishment for minor offences and to work towards decriminalising those regulations with provisions for financial penalties, if required.

She also directed the Department of Governance Reforms to work towards reducing compliance burden for citizen-centric services to ensure ‘ease of living’ for the people in the state.

The Chief Secretary further asked the administrative secretaries to examine the recommendations pertaining to their departments suggested by the GAME and work towards making amendments accordingly to address the issues highlighted as this could be a lighthouse project for the rest of the country for creating solutions to empower the MSMEs.

Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Alok Shekhar, informed the meeting that the areas/ compliances identified in Phase-I included those that do not require amendments to any laws like removal of renewal requirements for licences, implementing third party or joint inspections with government authorities, standardising and simplifying returns filing and reducing the number of filings, rationalising or removing maintenance of registers and records, minimising or eliminating display requirements for licenses, and digitising and simplifying all manual records and procedures.

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The Chief Secretary was informed that as part of Phase-II plan, 70 compliances have been identified across four areas that require amendments to the existing laws, implementation of which was underway and needs to be completed by August 15.

Ms Mahajan appreciated the efforts undertaken by all the departments in implementation of reforms and directed the concerned secretaries to disseminate information as well as engage with stakeholders to create awareness about the new reforms implemented and online services developed.

Pertinently, online industry outreach and stakeholder engagement workshops were being conducted by the DICs in coordination with the departments to create awareness about new reforms, services and query/ grievance resolution in the state.

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