Home > politics > policy > Govt extends deadline for eBiz platform

New Delhi: Pushing the delayed process to improve the ease of doing business in India, the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) has set a new deadline of June-end for integrating all central government services on an online platform.

A dozen central government services remain to be made available on the eBiz platform, and this will be done by the end of June, a senior DIPP official said on condition of anonymity.

If completed by the new deadline, the government would be six months behind schedule. So far, 14 services have been made available on the platform.

The eBiz project aims to provide a single-window clearance mechanism for businesses so that they can apply for all required approvals at one place online to cut red tape and improve transparency.

“Services such as contract or migrant labour registration, import of restricted items, EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) returns, ESIC (Employees’ State Insurance Corporation of India) returns, SEZ (special economic zone) clearances and annual return with the ministry of corporate affairs are among the services that will be made available on eBiz by June-end," said another DIPP official, who also declined to be named.

The department is also working on providing 24 additional services from five pilot states within the same period, the second official said, without specifying further details.

In his maiden budget speech on 10 July 2014, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said the eBiz platform would be made available by 31 December. Amitabh Kant, secretary, DIPP, said on 7 April that 26 central government services in total had been identified to be put on the portal.

DIPP has also identified 10 states—in addition to the five mentioned above—whose services will also be gradually integrated into the eBiz platform.

The department is also working on a “massive" campaign to increase awareness about the portal among businesses. “The portal has captured a subscriber base of more than 4,000 as of now. We hope it will pick up," the first official said.

The eBiz platform aims to create a business and investor-friendly ecosystem, given the National Democratic Alliance government’s thrust on improving the ease of doing business.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to push India to the top 50 in the World Bank rankings on the ease of doing business from its current rank of 142.

Ajay Dua, former secretary at DIPP, said, “Great amount of work needs to be done to improve the ease of doing business and a good start has been made. Starting with the central government services that apply to most industries is an encouraging start. This should be further expanded to working with state governments and trying to bring in standardization for permissions across states gradually. Removing the distinction between provincial permissions, local or state permissions is positive for most entrepreneurs, especially foreign entrepreneurs."

In its other efforts to improve the ease of doing business, DIPP is looking to rank all state governments based on a list of 98 action points and has set up a committee to recommend a simpler mechanism to replace the myriad permissions currently required to start a business.

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