NEW DELHI: After Rajsthan and Maharashtra, NITI Aayog will begin working with Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir to rewrite state laws as part of the exercise to cut down the volume of statutory rule book to unveil a hassle free environment for both the people and the industry. While the Parliament in the recent times repealed many obsolete laws, the NITI Aayog in contrast is engaging with the states to harmonise and minimise their statutory books for better compliance and to help them to cut down on litigation.
The NITI Aayog has reached out to more state governments in a bid to convince them that they should embark on the path of reforms by first cutting down the number of laws. The think-tank panel in communications to the chief ministers argued that the laws should be transparent and available on the government websites for ease and convenience of the people and other stakeholders.
“We first began working with the Rajsthan government. In the next two years, the objective is to cut down the number of state laws from the current about 900 to 215. The state Assembly has passed 150 legislations to give effect to the effort of reconciling and harmonizing its various laws,” said Bibek Debroy, Member, NITI Aayog.
Similar exercise has also been initiated with Maharashtra where in the first step as many as 60 state laws have been replaced through the process of rewriting to arrive at a consolidated law. The think-tank panel will specifically take up one sector (Revenue) for J&K for rewriting its laws. The Congress ruled Himachal Pradesh too has joined the initiative and has sought the assistance of the NITI Aayog to cut down its laws.
“In a situation where there exist too many laws the end result is confusion among the stakeholders and thereby leads to more litigation. People should know beforehand what laws they have to adhere to before taking up any enterprise. Rewriting and harmonising the laws in a consolidated form will allow people to comply with lesser rules,” added Debroy.
The move is aimed at helping the states to improve their ease of doing business and attract investments from the private sectors. The laws concerning the industrial establishments, agriculture, revenue, irrigation, labour are among those which are being sought to be harmonised with rewriting. While the Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadanavis and his Rajsthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje have shown keenness to improve the ranking of their states on ease of doing business, the NITI Aayog is expecting that other states too will join the process to attract private sector investment.