To boost ‘ease of doing business’ for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Punjab cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, on Monday approved a list of NOCs required for setting up of industry in the state.
With this move, Punjab has become the first state in the country to take systematic proactive steps for improving ease of doing business in matters of no-objection certificates (NOCs) to enable MSMEs to flourish and prosper in the state, an official statement said.
The Chief Minister had, in his Independence Day speech on Sunday, announced the state government’s decision to promote MSME business in the state, and the list approved on Monday is in line with it.
It is based on recommendations of the Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) – an organisation engaged by the Punjab government to make the state a progressive industrial hub.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Department of Industries and Commerce and the GAME in November 2020, with a tenure of two years from November 2, 2020 to initiate new industry reforms.
According to a spokesperson for the Chief Minister’s office, the approved exhaustive list of NOCs will be a definitive source for entrepreneurs to access all NOC related information for establishing and operationalising business.
In future, any addition in the approved list of NOCs shall be made by the Administrative Department after approval from the Council of Ministers.
One of the areas identified by the GAME is streamlining NOCs required by an investor from various departments during the pre- and post-operationalisation stages.
However, a full and final list of such NOCs and NOC related information, such as the purpose of NOC, checklist of accompanying documents, and NOC forms, are currently not easily available. At present, most of the NOCs are also issued manually.
Paucity of such information and lack of clear procedure for obtaining NOCs was causing major problems for entrepreneurs wanting to set up business in Punjab, the cabinet noted.
It was thus felt necessary to put a detailed list of NOCs in place in order reduce the compliance burden on enterprises and to fulfill the mandates of the Punjab Right to Business Act, 2020, and the Punjab Anti-Red Tape Act, 2021.