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Press Release on The Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Ordinance 2017

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry whole heartedly welcomes the bold initiative of the present Government of Kerala in promulgating ‘The Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Ordinance 2017’.

We applaud the strong will shown by the Government in bringing out this Ordinance to ensure that the hitherto common delays are avoided in granting various licenses, permissions, approvals and clearances that are required under the various enactments currently in force.

The move to temporarily amend, during the period of operation of this Ordinance, the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Act 1060, the Kerala Headload Workers Act 1978, The Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994, The Kerala Municipality Act 1994, The Kerala Industrial Single Window Clearance Boards and Industrial Township Area Development act 1999, The Kerala Groundwater (Control & Regulation) Act 2002 and  the Kerala Lifts & Escalators Act 2013 is a momentous decision, long overdue, which will change the trajectory of industrial growth in the State.

All of the amendments envisaged in the Ordinance are highly positive and aimed at ensuring the Ease of Doing Business in Kerala. The Chamber welcomes this noteworthy move by the Government and is now confident that Kerala will once, and for all time, break away from its inglorious past and move towards achieving robust Industrial Growth.

Some of the very positive initiatives that require particular mention include the changes proposed with regard to engaging the services of headload workers, recognition of entrepreneurial activity as essential for Industry in Kerala, time bound procedures for the granting of

licenses/clearances/approvals etc., automatic approvals beyond the specified time limit, grant of composite licences and the provision for its renewal for a period of five years at a time, the focus on industrial growth taking into consideration environmental factors, green initiatives etc. We also welcome the fact that the applicant will have the opportunity to put forth his views at every stage and that there appears to be an overall transparency in the whole process.

However, with regard to the automatic approval we would request that provisions be made for proper documented information to be made available to the applicant regarding the automatic approval in order to avoid any ambiguity at a later stage.

We also welcome the fact that the single window clearance principal will be applied at all levels to ensure the timely grant of licenses etc.

We hope that the Government will go ahead in implementing this Ordinance vigorously, to finally realize the true potential for the industrial growth of Kerala.

The Chamber is confident that with the implementation of the provisions of this Ordinance, Kochi, the Commercial Capital of Kerala will improve its ratings in the Ease of Doing Business especially with regard to issue of construction permits, enforcement of contracts, payment of Taxes, Registration of Property etc. in the long run. In the World Bank Business study on the Ease of Doing Business conducted in 2009 Kochi was ranked well below other cities in the country. We are confident that this Ordinance will be the real game changer.

We once again congratulate the Government for this bold initiative.