Budget 2022: Govt to double down on reducing compliance burden for firms, public

NEW DELHI: Taking forward the government’s ongoing efforts to reduce compliance burden for both corporates and citizens, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced the launch of a trust-based governance model as the second version of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ along with ‘Ease of Living’ through digitisation with active involvement of state governments.

“For the ‘Amrit Kaal’, the next phase of Ease of Doing Business (EODB 2.0) and Ease of Living will be launched. In our endeavour to improve productive efficiency of capital and human resources, we will follow the idea of trust-based governance,” she said in her Budget speech.

‘Amrit Kaal’ is referred to as the next 25 years beyond the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ or the 75th year of India’s Independence. The 25-year-long period leading up to 100th anniversary of Independence was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his last August 15 address.

So far, the Modi government has reduced over 25,000 compliances and repealed 1,486 Union laws. Now, the objective is to involve state governments in reducing bureaucratic processes and redundant laws by nudging them through incentives for digitalisation to make life easy for both businesses and the public, a finance ministry official said, requesting anonymity.

Speaking in the Parliament, Sitharaman said, “This (ease of compliances) is the result of our government’s strong commitment for minimum government and maximum governance, our trust in the public, and ease of doing business (EODB).”

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“In our endeavour to improve productive efficiency of capital and human resources, we will follow the idea of trust-based governance,” she said.

This new phase will be guided by active involvement of the states, digitisation of manual processes and interventions, integration of central and state-level systems through IT bridges, single-point access for all citizen-centric services, and standardisation and removal of overlapping compliances.

Crowdsourcing of suggestions and ground-level assessment of the impact with involvement of citizens and businesses will be encouraged.

Nilaya Varma, co-founder and CEO of consultancy firm Primus Partners, said, “The overall focus of the FM’s speech on improving ease and cost of doing business is important. We have improved significantly over the last five years, but a lot more needs to be done. The government is one of the largest buyers and end-to-end digitisation of billing to ensure timely payment is most welcome as it supports MSMEs, who are the largest suppliers to the government.”

Maulik Doshi, senior executive director for direct tax and transfer pricing services at Nexdigm, said, “Accelerated corporate exit to speed up voluntary winding up for companies from two years to under six months – this is a big bottleneck currently and would really help companies looking to wind down. Ease of exit is as important as ease of set-up under the ease of doing business objectives of the government.”

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