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Six major govt initiatives to improve ease of doing business

As the Doing Business team of World Bank is here on a two-week mission to validate data for the upcoming Doing Business Report 2017, we look at some of the major initiatives taken by the government in the last couple of years to improve 'Ease of Doing Business' in India.

As the Doing Business team of World Bank is here on a two-week mission to validate data for the upcoming Doing Business Report 2017, we look at some of the major initiatives taken by the government in the last couple of years to improve 'Ease of Doing Business' in India.

Passage of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code: The government has managed to pass the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, thus clearing the last hurdle for making the code into a law. Experts believe that the law would be in place within a year. The new Bankruptcy law is supposed to significantly reduce the average time taken for the insolvency process to complete, which currently is 4.3 years.

Time for registering companies reduced: The government has made the process for registering a company faster by reducing the time taken from almost 10 days in December 2014 to 5 days in December 2015. This year the government plans to further reduce the time taken to 1-2 days.

Easier processes for incorporation: To make the process of registering and incorporating companies faster, the government has done away with the requirement of reserving a name, and integrated the processes related to allotment of Director Identification Number (DIN), appointment of directors etc in a single form (INC - 29) for incorporation of a company.

Integration of processes through eBiz portal: The eBiz platform of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) integrates several processes across (government) departments to make the process of incorporating a company simpler. One can apply for Permanent Account Number (PAN), Tax Deduction Account Number (TAN), EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Organization) and ESIC (Employee's State Insurance Corporation) and incorporation of company through the eBiz portal.

Doing away with requirement for minimum paid up capital: The minimum paid-up share capital requirement was Rs 1 lakh for a private company and Rs 5 lakh for a public company.  This requirement has now been done away with for incorporating private as well as public companies in India.

Making tax laws simpler: The government has accepted most of the first set of recommendations of Easwar Committee for simplification of tax laws. The most important of those being exemption to non-residents from mandatorily having a PAN for lower tax deduction at source, hiking the turnover limit for availing presumptive taxation benefits from Rs1 crore to Rs 2 crore, and deferment of Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS).