Naidu further eases doing biz in AP
Andhra Pradesh, which has already earned its pride of place in the country in terms of ease of doing business, will move up this ladder further in a couple of months.
The Chandrababu Naidu Government is laying the groundwork for further easing the scope of doing business in the State by taking a raft of measures such as simplification of procedures, consolidation of departments and expanding the e-biz platform.
In this regard, the Chief Minister has already contracted the services of an independent consultant to identity issues and bottlenecks on the way of starting and operating businesses in the State.
The AP Principal Secretary Mr S P Takkar told a delegation of trade bodies ASSOCHAM and AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation members that the independent consultant was already in place and the report would be finalized within the next 45 days or so.
“We are confident that the whole procedure for setting up and operating businesses in the State, which even now is very conducive for investors, will be further revamped and smoothened in two months time,” Mr P Bhaskar Rao, Executive Director of the Federation, said at a ASSOCHAM conference on ‘Ease of Doing Business in AP’ here last week.
He wanted the consultant to interact with the trade bodies for their feedback during the preparation of the report.
The consultant will explore the various issues and bottlenecks that may impede doing business in the State, including consider suggestions like providing an unique Business Id number, on the lines of Aadhar cards, and consolidating some departments to iron out wrinkles in the process of getting clearances. “For example there are departments like fire safety, inspector of factories and pollution control, which can be consolidated into one,” Mr Bhaskar said.
“Don’t harass honest taxpayers”
Mr G Sambasiva Rao, Vice President of AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry and MD of Sravan Shipping, said getting approvals was still a problem for industries.
He suggests that the current e-biz portal services be extended beyond granting of approvals for new units to help existing industries also for services such as renewal of licenses. He also suggested setting up of a third discom in the State, in place of the existing two at Vizag and Tirupathi.
Earlier, Mr Arun Kumar Jagatramka, chairman of ASSOCHAM National Council for Ease of Doing Business and CMD OF Gujarat NRE Coke, listed out the issues that plague ease of doing business in India. These include archaic rules, over regulation, land acquisition, complicated tax system, overlapping of customs duty and multiple taxes.
VUDA, GVMC fees for industry to be cut: Yuvaraj
The Visakhapatnam District Collector Dr N Yuvaraj, IAS, dished out some cheerful news for industrial units in Visakhapatnam. For one, the VUDA and GVMC fees for industrial units within their limits will soon be slashed to fuel industrial growth here, he said during the ASSOCHAM meet on ‘Ease of Doing Business in AP’.
Investors and existing industries have been complaining that the VUDA and GVMC fees were rather on the higher side, which was applying the brakes on industrial development.
“This issue was recently discussed and it has been decided to cut these fees. The trimmed fee structure will be announced soon,” he said.
Another nugget of information Mr Yuvaraj gave was on availability of water for industries in Visakhapatnam. The district will be getting an additional five tmc feet of water from Polavaram left bank canal after it is completed by 2017.
“We are now in the process of developing an additional storage space for this 5 tmcft water, which will be completed before we get the additional water,” he said.
Industry PRO for every district: Muttamsetti
Anakapalli Parliament Member and industrialist Mr Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao came out with a suggestion that spread ripples of cheer from the audience at the ASSOCHAM meet on ‘Ease of Doing Business in AP’.
He wanted an exclusive industry development cell, headed by a liaison Officer, for every district in Andhra Pradesh, which would further smoothen the ease of doing business in the State.
Even the District Collector Dr. N. Yuvaraj, IAS and ASSOCHAM members hailed the idea, stating that they would take it up at appropriate levels.
He said Visakhapatnam, which is the financial capital of the State, would soon become the education capital of the country, with a string of new and prestigious educational institutions coming up.
He was all praise for the Chief Minister Mr N Chandrababu Naidu, stating that he had reversed the fortunes of the State in the last two years. “When the State was bifurcated, AP was left with no capital city of its own, no adequate educational institutions and a deficit budget of Rs 16,700 crore. But today we have ridden the strorm,” Mr Rao said.