In India, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India has been ranking States based on the World Bank initiated Ease of Doing Business policy. The States have been ranked based on the marks obtained by implementing the various Business Reform Action Points prepared based on the parameters that include ease in setting up a business, registration of property, labour compliances, infrastructure availability, finance and tax issues, inspection reforms and ease in exiting business.
Government of Kerala (GoK) had decided to undertake reforms to help place the State on an equal footing amongst other top ranked States and identified specific areas for improvement in various aspects of doing business in the State. It was also decided to adopt the best practices of other States to improve the ease of doing business environment in the State. State had laid emphasis on simplification of the existing Acts & Rules and introduction of information technology to make governance more efficient, effective, transparent and user-friendly.
The key steps undertaken by the State Government as a part of EoDB initiatives are -
KSIDC, being the nodal agency of the Government of Kerala, had done a study on the modification / amendments to be made in the concerned Rules and Regulations related to the existing clearance procedures in the State. Based on the recommendations of the study report, the Kerala Legislature has passed the Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Act 2018, amending following seven acts of departments 'concerned.
Amendments to following existing 10 Rules were also issued thereon by the concerned departments-
As a means of improving the entrepreneur – Government interface, the State Government has now constituted Investment Promotion and Facilitation Cells (IPFC) at both the State and District levels. The IPFC consists of officials of the concerned line Departments / Agencies that are involved in the providing clearances for setting up and running enterprises in the State.
IPFC shall act as the single point of contact for investors and accord all the required approvals for setting up and operation of enterprises in the State. The IPFCs are envisaged to track the progress of applications submitted online, obtain regular feedback from the stakeholder Departments / Agencies, remove bottlenecks if any and ensure time-bound disposal of applications. The IPFC will also be providing handholding support to all entrepreneurs who wish to make the State their preferred destination for starting and running an enterprise.
The IPFC at the State level, with Managing Director, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. (KSIDC) as its CEO will be headquartered in KSIDC Thiruvananthapuram office. While at the respective District levels, the District Collectors will be the Chairperson for the IPFC and General Manager, District Industries Centers its Convenors.
These initiatives of the State Government are sure to be milestone achievements in Kerala’s Industrial Scenario, whereby Governance will be simplified and entrepreneurs will find the State to be a true destination for setting up industries and thriving successfully thereon.