BUSINESS FIRST | REFORMS IN THE PROCESSES OF CORE DEPARTMENTS PROVIDING SERVICES TO INDUSTRIES | DEEMED APPROVAL FOR VARIOUS REGULATORY CLEARANCES | REFORMS RELATED TO LAND AND BUILDINGS | REFORMS IN GRANTING UTILITY PERMITS | REFORMS IN ENVIRONMENT REGULATIONS | REFORMS IN LABOUR REGULATIONS | CENTRAL INSPECTION SYSTEM | STRENGTHENING OF THIRD PARTY CERTIFICATION | ADDITIONAL SERVICES UNDER PUNJAB RIGHT TO SERVICE ACT (RTS)
- Facilitation to existing as well as new Industry
Building on the success of Invest Punjab, the State will launch BusinessFirst, an initiative to put Ease of Doing Business as the core philosophy of the State. The State realizes unequivocally that a conducive business environment and facilitation is pre-requisite for growth, innovation and employment generation in the State. BusinessFirst means putting the welfare and growth of businesses as foremost priority of the State. The State would ensure business facilitation services of the highest order. BusinessFirst will be supported by an integrated business facilitation services network (IBFSN).
- BusinessFirst Portal – A unified electronic portal for online services to the Businesses
- The State would take the ease of doing business in the State to the next level by replacing multiple electronic interfaces by various regulatory departments and agencies providing services to the Industries through their lifecycle by setting up a unified BusinessFirst portal. The BusinessFirst portal will provide services to both existing as well as new industries. The portal will also provide online facility for availing various fiscal incentives and centralized inspection mechanism. BusinessFirst will provide a common platform driven by robust IT infrastructure and services for all regulatory services and fiscal and non-fiscal incentives being delivered to the businesses throughout their lifecycle.
- The State would follow a business centric and whole of government approach to design BusinessFirst portal. It will be one stop shop providing transparent, efficient and convenient interface, through which the government and businesses can interact ensuring less physical touch points, easy applicability and reduced timelines.
- Business First portal will have a strong backend integration with every stakeholder to mandatorily perform processing of application through the portal only. It will help real time tracking of the status of various processes and generate alerts for possible delays. BusinessFirst portal will provide dashboard for review and monitoring at various levels.
REFORMS IN THE PROCESSES OF CORE DEPARTMENTS PROVIDING SERVICES TO INDUSTRIES
Apart from setting up Business First portal to provide hassle free services to the industries, the State would reform and re-engineer various processes of following departments/agencies based on the national and international best practices on priority:
- Punjab Pollution Control Board/ Department of Science, Technology and Environment
- Punjab State Power Corporation Limited/ Department of Power
- Punjab Small Industries and Exports Corporation/ Department of Industries and Commerce
- Department of Taxation
- Department of Labour
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Local Government
- Department of Revenue
DEEMED APPROVAL FOR VARIOUS REGULATORY CLEARANCES
A statutory mechanism will be provided for deemed approval for various regulatory clearances at all levels. The entrepreneur will be at liberty to proceed further for execution of the project beyond the prescribed time limit subject to his certifying that all the provisions of regulations will be complied with.
REFORMS RELATED TO LAND AND BUILDINGS
Transparency in Land Allotment System
The State will put in place a transparent and clear policy for allotment of plots and ensure GIS mapping of available land and plots for industrial use and make the information available on BusinessFirst portal. The State will design and implement a land allotment system that allows online application and payment without the need for a physical touch point for document submission and verification and implement the same through BusinessFirst Portal. The State would have single agency for industrial infrastructure, and all land would be allotted through that Authority.
Reforms in Registration of Property
The State shall ensure seamless integration between Department of Revenue and Department of Local Bodies. The State will develop online system for registration of properties.
Online availability of master plans & CLUs
The State would ensure that duly notified master plans for all the planning areas are widely available and published on BusinessFirst portal. Khasra number and GPS coordinates (if available) would also be superimposed on various plans and made available online. The Change of Land Use service will be made available online.
Notification of Uniform Building Code and online approval of building plans
The State would notify ‘Punjab Uniform Building Code, 2017’ applicable to the entire State and for all agencies. The State would provide online facility for submission and approval of building plans.
Single Application form for construction permit related clearances
The Department of Housing and Urban Development & the Department of Local Government and other agencies granting constructions permits shall integrate their services of granting occupation/ completion certificate via One Stop Clearance System and subsequently with BusinessFirst Portal. The State will introduce single form for construction permits to be sanctioned within a specified time period. The State would also ensure issuance of single completion cum occupancy certificate within 15 days.
REFORMS IN GRANTING UTILITY PERMITS
Easing the process of Electricity Connection
The State would reduce the number of documents required for obtaining the electricity connection to only two i.e. proof of ownership/occupancy and authorization document in case of firm/company.
Reducing the timeline for new connections
The State would ensure that charged electrical connections up to 150 KVA is provided within 7 days, where no ‘RoW’ is required and in 15 days where RoW is required from concerned agencies. The State would devise the system where there is deemed ROW clearance subject to depositing the requisite fee to the relevant agencies.
Reducing the timeline for certificate from Chief Electrical Inspector
The State would ensure online certification by Chief Electrical Inspector within 7 days.
Road Cutting Permissions
The State would ensure grant of road cutting permissions by PWD and other agencies through BusinessFirst portal.
Release of Water Connection
The State would ensure online permission for water connection from concerned authority to be given within 7 days.
REFORMS IN ENVIRONMENT REGULATIONS
Exemption from Grant of CTE/CTO for Green Category
The State in consultation with Punjab Pollution Control Board exempt Green Category Industries from consent management subject to appropriate self-regulatory measures.
Auto-Renewal of CTE and enhancement of validity period
The State in consultation with Punjab Pollution Control Board would allow auto-renewal of Consent to Establish based on self-certification/third party certification and validity period of consent will also be enhanced.
REFORMS IN LABOUR REGULATIONS
The State would allow third party certification from the competent person for approval of plan and permission to construct/extend/or take into use any building as a factory under the Factories Act, 1948.
The State would Introduce self-certification for registration of principal employer’s establishment under the Contracts Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 and registration under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
The State would further simplify the self-certification scheme for industries and employers under various Central and State laws regarding labour, factories and industries. The requirement of performance bank guarantee will be removed. The random inspections will be limited to not more than 5% of the units. The self-certification scheme may be made mandatory for Startups, MSME, IT/ITES, Life Sciences and Biotechnology and other such categories except for certain categories of industries based on risk profiling of the industries.
The State will undertake comprehensive labour law reforms creating employment opportunities through greater investments and easing the conduct of business in the state. More investments will open-up new avenues for labour. The reforms will be aimed to create better opportunities in the organised labour sector, which is essential for quality employment. The State will examine necessary amendments in Industrial Disputes Act, Factories Act and Contract Labour Act, which have been carried out by other States:
- Industrial Disputes Act
- Firms employing up to 300 workers can retrench or shut shop without govt’s permission against the current limit of 100 workers.
- In case of retrenchment, a worker should raise an objection within 3 months. There is no time limit at present.
- Trade union can be formed only if it gets 30% of the workers as members against the current provision of 15%.
- The Act will apply to factories with 40 workers, if without electricity; and 20 workers, if with electricity (the present condition respectively is 20 and 10).
- Complaints against an employer about violation of this Act would not receive cognisance by a court without prior written permission from the State Government.
- A provision for compounding of offences will be added.
Contract Labour Act
- The Act will apply to companies employing more than 50 workers (against current provision of 20 workers)
- The industries will be able to hire more temporary workers without passing on to them the benefits contract workers are entitled to.
CENTRAL INSPECTION SYSTEM
The State would institutionalize a Central Inspection System for Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970, Factories Act 1948, the Boilers Act 1923, Various Environment Regulations and other laws to minimize multiple visits of inspectors.
The State would design and implement a computerized system for identifying building/area that needs to be inspected based on risk assessment. The State will mandate online submission of inspection report within 24 hours to the department. No inspection will be carried out by the Inspector without the prior approval of the department.
The State will standardize the process of Inspection System and establish a dedicated Joint Inspection Cell. The cell will have the database of all facilities, including basic information like the geographical location, sector, and compliance history, as well as information specific to the area of inspection.
Business First portal will be set up to allow complete data sharing between all participating departments, inspections reports generation and management, mobile/email access, automated scheduling of inspections and work schedules of inspectors.
Joint Inspection Cell will ensure that the central inspection process is optimized that the resources are allocated to enterprises based on the identified risk profile.
STRENGTHENING OF THIRD PARTY CERTIFICATION
Wherever a technical expertise is required for inspection and certification, the State would notify a panel of technically competent agencies along with their terms and conditions, which can carry out third party inspection and certification on behalf of the State. The State has already provided for third party certification under certain laws, for which the scheme would be strengthened and additional services under the remaining laws will be taken up for third party certification.
ADDITIONAL SERVICES UNDER PUNJAB RIGHT TO SERVICE ACT (RTS)
The State will notify remaining services to the Industries under RTS Act, 2011. The State will also rationalise the timelines for all services pertaining to Industries under RTS Act, 2011 and simplify the proformas and work flow for delivery of services to ensure timely execution and delivery.