Business & Economy

Kerala Government to hold Ascend 2019 to showcase its business-friendly initiatives

NetIndian News Network

Kochi, January 22, 2019

In an initiative to position Kerala as a hotspot for attracting investments from India and abroad and setting up enterprises in a hassle-free manner, the State Government will organise Ascend 2019 here next month.
To be held on February 11 at the Lulu Bolgatty International Convention Center (LBICC) here, Ascend 2019 will showcase various administrative and policy reforms that the government says have considerably improved Ease of Doing Business in the state for the benefit of industry and trade.
The event is expected to be attended by Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and Ministers from various states, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, investors, policy administrators and other delegates from India and abroad.
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), a press release issued by the Kerala Bureau of Industrial Promotion.
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 and agencies for setting up enterprises in the State.  The activities associated with KSWIFT and its integration with portals of 14 Departments and agencies concerned have already been completed. 
“The objective behind the launch of Ascend 2019 is to bring into sharp focus a governance that is simplified, transparent, facilitates business and investments with a string of industry -friendly measures,” the release said.
The event will have plenary addresses, panel discussions, break-out sessions and presentations on some of the best practices under the Ease of Doing Business initiatives.
According to the release, Kerala has, of late, launched 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, it said.
Listing out the other measures, it said the State Assembly unanimously passed an omnibus legislation—Kerala Investment Promotion Facilitation Act 2018 during May 2018, amending the existing 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 dimension in the entire exercise.
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.
“All these unprecedented measures have been taken to correct the skewed and distorted perception of the State and enormously increase the prospects of investments by the national and international investors,” the release added.

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