Punjab Cabinet paves way for deemed approval of regulatory clearances & auto renewal of industrial projects

Punjab Cabinet approval of regulatory clearances (File Photo)
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Chandigarh, February 19, 2021: To facilitate new industrial projects to take off expeditiously without delay, the Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday gave the nod to amend the Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion Act, 2016 for incorporating provisions for automated deemed approval of various regulatory clearances.

This enabling provision would not only expedite speedy approval/clearances but also assure industrial units of a time-frame within which clearances would be granted. With this Punjab becomes one of the few states to grant deemed approvals.

The Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion Amendment Bill, 2021, enabling the incorporation of the new provisions will be tabled in the upcoming session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha for enactment.

The investor-friendly initiative would further enhance ease of doing business and instil greater confidence amongst entrepreneurs and industrialists in the state, by providing system-generated deemed approvals and auto-renewals based on self-certification, an official spokesperson said after the cabinet meeting.

The system generated automated Deemed Approvals for state-level clearances shall be provided through the IP-BFP on behalf of the Competent Authority from departments such as Punjab Pollution Control Board, Punjab Food & Drugs Administration, Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Labour Commissioner-cum-Director of Factories, Department of Local Government, Department of Excise & Taxation, Department of Finance and Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Investors will be required to provide an undertaking/self-certification assuring compliance with all the provisions of applicable Acts/rules/regulations at the initial stage of filing the Common Application Form (CAF) itself. Such deemed approvals would be granted on a real-time basis automatically without human intervention, thus bringing greater transparency and accountability into the system. In addition to the protocol for deemed clearances, a system of ‘Auto Renewals’ of clearances has also been introduced based on self -certification.

Punjab has been rapidly progressing on the path of industrialization, with the state government introducing attractive incentives under the comprehensive Industrial & Business Development Policy 2017. Additionally, Punjab Government has taken multiple transformative actions to create a business-friendly environment in the State, including the introduction of the Punjab Right to Business Act 2020 that allows MSMEs to set up in Punjab with no prior clearances based on self-certification.

Another novel step has been the launch of an end-to-end online single window portal i.e. the Invest Punjab – Business First Portal (IP-BFP), for the provision of time-bound regulatory clearances without any physical touchpoints. It provides 80+ clearances from 12+ departments along with features such as digital fee payment, real-time online tracking etc. Recently, Invest Punjab, the exclusive Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) of the Punjab Government, has been recognized as the ‘Top Performing’ State IPA by the Government of India.

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