‘One-stop shop’: Single-window approval system for investors launched

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September 23, 2021 4:15 AM

Delay in various clearances and cumbersome application process have long discouraged large multi-national corporations from either investing in India or scaling up operations in the country, something that the government has been seeking to change.

The system is spearheaded by the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade and Invest India.The system is spearheaded by the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade and Invest India.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday launched a national single-window system, which aims to become a “one-stop shop” for investors to apply for various approvals and make it easier for them to set up units.

Through the system, the government promises a single online interface to identify, seek and track various clearances from key departments. The idea is to spare investors the trouble of running from one department to the other or having to submit same sets of information across multiple platforms, for obtaining various permits. Moreover, they will get to know what all approvals are required for setting up a facility.

Delay in various clearances and cumbersome application process have long discouraged large multi-national corporations from either investing in India or scaling up operations in the country, something that the government has been seeking to change.

To start with, the portal hosts approval requirements across 18 central government departments and nine states, while another 14 central departments and five states will be added to it by December 21.

Launching the new system, Goyal said it will “usher in Azadi (independence) from the legacy of running to government offices for approvals and registrations,” Goyal said. It will bring in transparency, accountability and responsiveness in the ecosystem and all information will be made available on a single dashboard, he added.

The departments that have already joined include corporate affairs, environment, labour, railways, commerce and industry, revenue, power, food & consumer affairs and textiles. The states that are already on board are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Goa.

The portal will progressively onboard a greater number of approvals and licenses, based on user feedback.

Last year, a status check ordered by a committee of secretaries (CoS) revealed that the 35 central ministries/departments among them are presiding over a regime of as many as 767 pre-establishment/pre-operation licences!

Investments remain critical to the country’s resurgence story, as private consumption has been badly bruised by income losses in the aftermath of the pandemic. Private final consumption expenditure shrank 11.9% in real and 2.7% in nominal terms in the June quarter from the pre-pandemic levels.

The system is spearheaded by the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade and Invest India.

The single window system has some key modules, including Know Your Approval (KYA) Service. This is an intelligent information wizard that generates a list of approvals required by any business to commence operations. This service was launched in July, with over 500 approvals across 32 central government departments and over 2,000 approvals across 14 states.

It also prescribes a common registration form to ensure a single point of submission of information and documents across ministries and states.

There is a state registration form, which enables investors to have seamless single-click access to respective state’s single-window system.

There is a document repository, which is an online centralized storage service for investors to enable one-time document submission and use the same across multiple approvals. This eliminates the need to submit documents at multiple portals.

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