Kerala Takes Online Route to End Official Lethargy in Investments

KOCHI:
Keen to end delays and lethargy in approval of investments, the Kerala government launched today an online clearance mechanism that will ensure clearance to proposals within 30 days of application. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated ASCEND Kerala 2019, at which K-SWIFT (Kerala Single Window Interface for Fast, Transparent Clearances) was launched on Monday.

K-SWIFT is a cutting-edge software application that simplifies and speeds up approval of clearances from departments and agencies looking to launch enterprises in the state. ASCEND Kerala 2019 is an ambitious initiative of the government to position the state as an investment hotspot.

Noting that K-SWIFT complements the notion of rebuilding of Kerala, the CM urged the officials for a change in their attitude towards entrepreneurs. In this context, he said the 30-day time limit, which is applicable from village to secretariat level, may be reduced to even 15 days in future.

“You should not have the wrong belief that advent of industries means exploitation of people,” he said.

“Kerala economy has been consumerist where lots of products have buyers, but not much of production is happening in the state. This has to be change,” he told delegates at Lulu International Convention Centre Grand Hyatt, Bolgatty. “We have to increase MSMEs in the state. Through them, the government aims to provide jobs to around 50,000 people this year.”

The CM also launched an ‘Invest Kerala Guide’ brought out by the state government’s Department of Industries and Commerce, which is a key organiser of the day-long event that seeks to boost Ease of Doing Business.

Kerala Industry Minister E P Jayarajan said ASCEND Kerala 2019 was part of the government’s efforts to form an industry network in the state. Pointing out that a “new era” has dawned upon Kerala’s industry sector, he said any delay in taking steps in the online applications would attract serious steps against the departments and officials.

“Specific industrial parks will be set up in private and public sector as per the types of industry. In rural areas, the area limit will be 25 acres. The urban parks will have 15 acres,” he added. “The government will provide the same facilities of the public parks sector to private parks.”

The Minister revealed that around 36,000 MSME units have been established in the state within its two-and-a-half years, generating 1,24,000 jobs. Jayarajan also launched the portal of ‘Invest Kerala’that includes details about IBPMS (Intelligent Building Plan Management System).

Dr K Ellangovan, Principal Secretary, Industries, Commerce & NORKA, gave a presentation on ASCEND Kerala 2019, and said Kerala is thecountry’s only state that has amended all the existing rules to streamline and encourage its industry sector.

Tom Jose, Chief Secretary, Govt of Kerala, said in his welcome address that the industry sector’s motto was to convert jobseekers into entrepreneurs.

FICCI National President Sandip Somany noted Kerala topped national rankings in sectors such as startups, food-processing and technology. CII Chairman (Southern Region) R Dinesh said Kerala has a unique advantage in knowledge-based industries.

Kerala Small Scale Industries Association President M Khalid also spoke at the session, where TiE Kerala Chapter President MSA Kumar proposed thanks. The meet showcased Kerala as a top-notch investment destination, where entrepreneurs from India and abroad can set up a wide array of enterprises in a speedy and hassle-free manner with minimum of bureaucratic interventions.

The conference, through presentations and panel discussions, also presented a slew of legislations and administrative reforms the Kerala government has initiated to enhance the Ease of Doing Business in the state. Entrepreneurs, industry captains and representatives, administrators, policy-makers and top industry department officials, besides senior functionaries of local bodies were present.

 

 

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