THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The first industrial policy of Pinarayi government will focus on ‘ease of doing business’ after the slip in rank among the list of business-friendly states.
Ending the ‘Inspection Raj’ to switching to single window system for entrepreneurs and extension of licence period are included in the policy to be unveiled by January next year. Entrepreneurs are expected to get a breather from the constant inspections by various departments, including Factories and Boilers, local bodies etc. At present, factory licences are subject to annual renewal.
The government plans to introduce a new legislation to streamline the amendments and statutes governing various departments, said Additional Chief Secretary, Industries and Power, Paul Antony. The new policy is likely to have a mechanism to make the existing industries competitive. According to industry experts, the state has the best chance to draft a comprehensive law as most of the licensing departments are under ministers from a single party. “There have to be clearly laid out rules that check the arbitrary use of powers by officials under Inspection Raj. Local bodies should use their power to close a factory only based on clear violation of laws,” said an industrialist.
At present, the conditions are far from perfect despite the availability of skilled population and other social parameters. The state, which has an implementation percentage of just 26.96 per cent in 350 reforms parameters set by the World Bank, has a long way to catch up to be in the leaders category (above 75 per cent). “Institutional investors from abroad choose their investment based on reforms standards set by World Bank. Hence, it is important to implement reforms and be competitive,” said Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 2015, Harikrishnan R Nair. He pointed out that Bihar with 16.41 per cent implementation last year became a leader and is placed 16 in the latest ranking.