Online Foreign Investment Approval On The Anvil

Bangalore, Nov 2: | Updated: Nov 3 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Centre is working on a plan to provide online approvals for all foreign investment proposals by setting up a dedicated government-to-business (G-to-B) portal.

Subsequently, the scope of the portal will be enlarged to cover all investment approvals at various levels of government, Union industrial policy and promotion secretary Rajeeva Ratna Shah said on Sunday.

What we are working on, to begin with, is for FDI. We want to set up a portal to deal with all pre-establishment and post-establishment approvals, he said while speaking at a conference at the ongoing Bangalore 2003.

Our first effort will be to integrate the approvals of various Central ministries. We will then try to bring in the approvals by the states and municipal bodies, Shah, who was earlier the Union IT secretary, said, adding the plan, the details of which are being worked out, will be implemented by the department of information technology.

A major problem that investors keep complaining about is that they have to go to too many offices of government at different levels for solutions to their problems not just at the time of setting up of business but even after that, he observed.

Once the G-to-B portal is fully integrated, it will be possible to handle all problems at any time and from any place, he said.

Since the interface with businesses and citizens will be managed by private parties, the scope for tampering with information will be eliminated, he observed.

Mr Shah also mentioned that a national programme for e-governance involving an outlay of Rs 12,410 crore will be implemented by 2007.