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Kerala CM to Inaugurate ASCEND 2019 Meet to Showcase Kerala’s Business-friendly Initiatives

In Business
January 29, 2019

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate ASCEND 2019 at Kochi on February 11, a high-octane event being organised by the State Government to position Kerala as an ideal investment destination and showcase a raft of administrative and policy reforms initiated to bring more investments from India and abroad.

Releasing the logo and the website of the one-day meet to be hosted at Lulu Bolgatty International Convention Center (LBICC), Minister for Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs E P Jayarajan said today that Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Industry& Commerce and Civil Aviation, will be the Chief Guest at the event.

Stretching from 9.30 am to 5 pm, the conclave will have speeches, presentations and panel discussions, focussing on a sweep of administrative and policy reforms that have considerably improved Ease of Doing Business in the State for the benefit of industry and trade members, Shri Jayarajan said, briefing media on the highlights of the event.

Dr K Ellangovan, Principal Secretary (Industries), Dr Sharmila Mary Joseph, Secretary, Industries, and K Biju, Director, Industries and Commerce, were present.

The measures adopted by the government included an omnibus legislation –Facilitation Act 2018 passed in May last year, amending seven Acts dealing with doing business in Kerala and investment-related issues. Further, it has reduced the transaction time for obtaining permits and licenses and also created an elaborate e-platform to largely eliminate the citizen-government interface, bringing out the transparency to the entire exercise.

In particular, the event will display two software applications: K-SWIFT (Kerala Single Window Interface for Fast, Transparent Clearances) and IBPMS (Intelligent Building Plan Management System).

KSWIFT, an online clearance mechanism and Common Application Form (CAF) under Ease of Doing Business initiatives, have been developed to simplify and speed up issuance of clearances from Departments / Agencies for setting up enterprises in the State. The activities associated with KSWIFT and its integration with portals of 14 Departments / Agencies concerned have already been completed.

Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, Ministers from various States, Bureaucrats, Entrepreneurs, Investors, Policy Administrators and National and International Delegates will be attending the meet.

Of late, Kerala has launched phenomenal policy and procedural reforms to position it on an equal footing amongst other top ranked States in the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) ranking. It has simplified and rationalized the existing rules; introduced IT to make governance more efficient, transparent and user-friendly; and ensured swift and transparent ways of dealing with the industries.

The Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Kerala has also introduced the concept of ‘deemed approval’ for everyone, who does not get the reply from various departments within the stipulated time frame. The new land allotment policy facilitates entrepreneurs in the state and the bureaucracy has been trained to implement the revised procedures.