Tall claims made by the MP government notwithstanding, a lot more needs to be done to cut the red tape and implement an efficient single window system for attracting investments, experts have said.
In the run up to the Global Investors Summit in October, the state government had announced an ‘advanced single window’ system for facilitating investment proposals at a fast pace.
The initiative was aimed at ensuring that investment proposals don’t get entangled in red tape during the approval and permission process. A similar proposal to make the single window system efficient had been mooted during the investors meet held in 2012.
However, industry experts are not entirely pleased with the ground situation.
"There is some gap in the industry-friendliness approach, so more needs to be done so that the entire bureaucratic machinery becomes industry-friendly," former chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), MP chapter, Ranjan Mimani said.
"The attitude of the bureaucracy, especially the lower-end, needs to change," he said.
To improve the ease of doing business, the government had planned to depute officials of departments concerned to MP Trade and Investment Facilitation Corporation (Trifac) so that no time was wasted in assigning necessary approvals for investment projects.
Trifac is a wing of industry department which facilitates investments in the state.
While some officials have been interacting with Trifac, the move to give all the powers to the agency to ensure that all the approvals are given under a single roof has not received cabinet approval.
In fact, some ministers, including state urban development minister Kailash Vijayvargiya, have raised the objection that the proposal goes against the spirit of democracy under which decisions are taken by a process of consultation with different departments.
As a result, despite establishment of ‘singe window’ by the state government, some hurdles remain when it comes to getting approvals.
"The single window system in practice has not come out, and we still have to make rounds of different departments," industrialist Anshul Mittal said.
The idea of getting all the permissions under one roof is also facing resistance from certain departments such as panchayat and rural development department. The village sarpanchs are entitled to approve new industries in rural areas, so withdrawing their right would need an amendment in the Panchayat Raj Act, it has been argued.
Government officials, however, said that several steps have been initiated to streamline the entire process of getting approvals and permissions.
"We have prepared a software programme to track the progress of investment proposals online. This will help the government officials to ensure that all the permissions are being given in the prescribed timeframe. Moreover, the investors will also be able to use the portal to know the status of their projects," a state industry department official told HT.