Govt may soon table 2nd edition of Jan Vishwas bill in Parliament
Union commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal asked participants to come up with ideas to quickly reduce some more compliance burdens for both businesses and citizens
New Delhi: The Union government may bring the second edition of the Jan Vishwas Bill soon in Parliament to boost ease of living and promote ease of doing business by further reducing compliance burden and decriminalising various laws, a top government official said on Wednesday.
Addressing a day-long conference on ease of doing business, Union commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal asked participants to come up with ideas to quickly reduce some more compliance burdens for both businesses and citizens. “If I get enough by the end of this month, we can make an attempt... to do a ‘Jan Vishwas Bill’ [2.0] in the Winter Session,” he said.
The conference was jointly organised by the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
“But it will need some really fast, heavy weight lifting from all of you,” Goyal asked the participants at the conference. “So, look at some low-hanging fruits, see if we can get some 200-300 sections of different laws, which are low-hanging in nature which can immediately give some relief to the common man, small scale industries, MSMEs, small traders, help our startups in their innovation efforts, reduce burden of investment... or the paperwork that investors have to do…”
The earlier version of the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023 was passed in the Lok Sabha on June 27 and in the Rajya Sabha on August 2. The bill was introduced in the Lower House on December 22 last year and subsequently referred to the joint committee of Parliament. The committee had recommended to examine other legislations and carry out a similar exercise to decriminalise laws.
An official requesting anonymity said that at least 39,000 compliances have been already reduced and around 3,400 legal provisions have been decriminalised.
Goyal said the Narendra Modi government believes in action and it trusts business communities as wealth creators for the nation. He, however, cautioned them not to misinterpret laws to justify unlawful activities. “Usually, laws get complicated when a set of people misuse the law… then somebody has to sit down to plug that issue, and that’s how the laws keep getting complicated,” the minister said.
He cited an example of how the Income Tax act originally did not have so many sections and sub-sections. “But with innovative ideas being used to misuse the law,” the government had to find solutions, thus laws kept on getting more complicated by adding new provisions, he added.
Goyal also called upon citizens, businessmen and consultants to become partners by participating in the process of making laws simpler for compliance by adhering to their intent rather than trying to find loopholes to circumvent them.
Referring to the alleged policy paralysis in the erstwhile Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Goyal said the incumbent government is a “decisive” one.
“This [NDA government] is a decisive government led by a decisive leader [Narendra Modi] …somebody, who wants each of us [ministers] to become a facilitator and your [industry and citizens] friend in need… He wants each of us [to] be hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder with each of you, in your contribution to nation building,” Goyal said. “We believe the nation’s future is safe in your hands and we can, at best, give you a little leg up or a little support.”
The Union minister further urged businesses to make use of the National Single Window System (NSWS) and suggest gaps and measures to improve it. “Today we are living in an opportune moment and it is India’s time. We have moved from fragile five to top five economy in the last five years. We are the fastest growing large economy in the world and in Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to make India a developed nation by 2047, he has made available the building blocks by providing strong macroeconomic fundamentals and large-scale investments. Aspirational young India will spur the future growth of India,” he added.