Kerala to Give Instant Approval to Investment up to Rs 10 Crore

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
As part of Kerala Government’s initiatives to enhance Ease of Doing Business environment, its widely-hailed web-based platform Kerala Single Window Interface for Fast and Transparent Clearance (KSWIFT) has been modified to facilitate immediate clearance for investment proposals up to Rs 10 crore.

Launching the upgraded KSWIFT portal here on Monday, Minister for Industries, E P Jayarajan, said the state Government has been taking many earnest and proactive steps to improve the Ease of Doing Business environment in the State. The modified KSWIFT platform is a decisive step in that direction.

“The live website will be a boon for entrepreneurs. There are 1,38,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Kerala and around 52,000 of them were set up after this government came into power. An investment of Rs 4,500 crore has come to this sector during this period,” Jayarajan said.

He noted that Food Processing; Furniture Cluster; Steel Manufacturing, Tourism, Hospitality and Travel have been identified as the top five MSME sectors in the State. The MSME sector also provides employment to 8.9 lakh people and around 1.2 lakh jobs had been created by this segment during the last two years, the Minister noted.

“The huge response from entrepreneurs at the recently held Global Investors Meet ASCEND Kerala 2020 is a reflection of high investor confidence Kerala now enjoys and an endorsement of the measures the state Government has taken,” Jayarajan added.

Envisaged as a single-window online interface between entrepreneurs and the government, the upgraded KSWIFT platform has expedited issuance of licences and approvals from all the government department and agencies after submission of investment proposals through a Common Application Form (CAF).

Dr K. Ellangovan, Principal Secretary, Industries; K. Biju, Director, Industries and Commerce; S. Santhosh, CEO, Kerala Bureau of Industrial Promotion (K-bip); and Santhosh Koshy, MD, Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA), were also present.

Presently, services of 15 Departments/ Agencies are available on the platform, sharply reducing the physical touch-points and bureaucratic delays, which had proved stumbling blocks in fast-tracking investment proposals in the past.

The government-entrepreneur relationship was strengthened by enacting the Micro Small Medium Enterprises Facilitation Act, 2019. This has exempted all projects having capital investments up to Rs 10 crore, and not falling under RED category as notified by the Pollution Control Board, from licenses, approvals, permits etc., under various Acts for the first three years.

As per the Rules of this Act, necessary workflow modifications were made to KSWIFT. An entrepreneur can now register into KSWIFT portal and, after logging in, he/she shall be provided with option to select the workflow for projects having capital investment below Rs. 10 Crores.

The entrepreneur has to undertake a self-certification that he/she is aware of the provisions of the Act and is not violating any of the laws of the land, and possess all the necessary documents in original. After the entrepreneur submits the self-certification, he/she will be provided with an Acknowledgement Certificate instantly, with unique ID.

The entrepreneur shall be given a grace period of six more months after the first three years, to procure all the necessary clearances/approvals. The entrepreneur can set-up and operate an industry based on this Acknowledgement Certificate, and need to procure all the relevant approvals/clearances within the grace period of 6 months after the first three years.

The Government has given specific emphasis on simplification of the existing Acts & Rules and leveraged Information Technology to make governance more efficient, effective, transparent and user-friendly.

Various initiatives undertaken to improve Ease of Doing Business included publishing the omnibus Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Act, 2018, amending the 7 Acts and 10 Rules, creating an enabling environment for establishing and running of enterprises in the State.

Through these measures, the Government has ensured elimination of redundant regulations, simplification of clearance procedures, reduction in timelines for clearances, established Standard Operating Procedures, increased duration of clearances and establishing an Investment Promotion and Facilitation Cells (IPFC) across the State.

Iscea

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