Herald: Goa wakes up to improve upon ease of doing business ratings
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Goa wakes up to improve upon ease of doing business ratings

04 Dec 2017 06:23am IST
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04 Dec 2017 06:23am IST
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Goa had recently slipped down from the 19th to 21st rank in the ease of doing business. To improve upon this abysmal show in the field of business and industry, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has taken up a task to make Goa one of the top three states in India for ease of doing business in the next three years. VIKANT SAHAY found out what measures the State government is presently taking to improve upon its rating

In 2016, on the ease of doing business, Goa was ranked 21st in India, slipping down from 19th rank amongst all the states in India. 

Following this jolt, the government of Goa is now committed to upgrade this ranking to a much higher level and to its true potential. For this, in the month of September this year, Goa hired Ernst and Young Consultants to help ‘clean’ the system of at least 22 departments in the State. 

Last year under the 98 Point Action Plan, Goa had implemented 21.74 percentage points and was placed at 18th rank. In the 2015-16, 340-point Business Reform Action Plan assessment, Goa was placed at 21st rank with a very poor implementation rate of only 18.15 per cent. Goa had implemented just 61 action points and 275 remained to be attempted. The overall rank is not so important, what is really worrisome was the abysmally low rate of implementation.

Being a small but highly literate State; with State capital and district headquarters being less than an hour away from almost any point in the State; having the highest government servant to population ratio; having the second highest per capita income in the country; having the highest bank branches to population ratio and high level of computerisation of government departments; Goa could have easily done much better than what it recorded. Without an improvement in the ease of doing business ranking, Goa may not be able to attract the desired level of investments into the State.

President of the Goa State Industries Association (GSIA), Rajkumar Kamat said, “as far as ease of doing business is concerned, we are looking at cutting down on bureaucratic processes so that an entrepreneur or a businessman is very clear what he has to do and within what timeframe things can happen. Six months back, Goa was complying a mere 18 per cent, but today we are more than 50 per cent compliant. The Chief Minister, Mr Parrikar has set his goal that he would like Goa to be in the top three in ease of doing business in India in coming three years.”

Recently a seminar was organised on ease of doing business to sensitize entrepreneurs on the various steps initiated by the Government of Goa to implement Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP). The seminar was hosted by Goa State Industries Association (GSIA) in partnership with Directorate of Industries, Trade and Commerce (DITC) in which over 100 entrepreneurs participated which was sponsored by Plastindia Foundation. 

The seminar was addressed by Ernst and Young Consultants who presented department-wise reforms initiated and to be initiated by the government. Some of the notable reforms initiated by the government include bringing in about 17 services across departments under the ambit of Goa (Right of Citizens to time-bound delivery of services) Act, 2013, reducing the timelines in most of them. Services like Plinth Inspection by Goa-IDC and DMA, road cutting by PWD, several services of Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers and others were covered.

“We have uploaded the land bank information for all the 22 industrial estates of Goa in the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) website. We are now aware that GIDC has no land available with them to be allotted this year. We are also conducting a tree survey which will allow us to list every tree in the industrial estate. This data will be eventually integrated with the forest department. At present the survey has been completed in eight industrial estates. We are also digitising inspection reports for industrial estates which will soon be available online,” said an official of six-member team of Ernst and Young Consultants. 

Meanwhile, GIDC is likely to come out with new transfer and sub-lease regulations very shortly which will ease a lot of existing hurdles. It has also initiated reforms by uploading land bank information on its portal, commencing tree survey in all industrial estates, mandating submission of reports within 48 hours, started digitisation of inspection report / land allotment orders / construction permits / occupancy certificates for viewing and download amongst others. 

The single biggest reform will be to implement a single window system which will seamlessly integrate multitude of services offered across departments with regard to EODB in the State. Another critical reform is the introduction of online system for Building Plan Approval and Management Systems (BPAMS) including Auto-DCR in order to streamline and accelerate the process of providing Consent to Establish (CTE) and Consent to Operate (CTO) and other NOCs in building construction.

Along with the IT infrastructure and reforms, regulatory reforms like introduction of risk based assessment of buildings, mandating single joint inspection system for various approvals, reforms for reducing the redundancies in the existing processes are required to be undertaken on priority.

“The Directorate of Industries, Trade and Commerce, has come up with an Umbrella Scheme in which there will be seven different schemes which will be notified soon and the benefits can be taken by eligible industries under this. Beginning 2018 these new schemes will be rolled out. Under this scheme the processes of getting the benefits and incentives will be streamlines and less cumbersome,” said Ms Geeta Joshi of DITC. 
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