Delving deep inside the maze of a thought of initiating a new business or setting up a new industrial unit in India is a cumbersome process. This is because of a complex and entangled web of hard fact that it requires multiple licenses and clearances and related services from a number of government agencies across various strata of government. Moreover, an investor thinking of procuring all the relevant information about these services often gets messed up in multiple acts, rules and procedures which are found scattered across multiple websites. As a result, an average investor is confused and hence feels defeated because of proper lack of information; thereafter being getting dependent on middlemen for guidance.
This is not the end to his quest. The endless tunnel to cross after obtaining the relevant information through secondary research and middlemen is more harrowing as the investor has to commence a protracted series of interactions with multiple government agencies to move ahead. The business user needs to apply for each service individually with the respective agency and make payments through restricted set of banks authorised by the agency. Apart from this, the user has to repeatedly submit largely similar information again and again. This clearly reflects that the current process is extremely time-consuming, expensive and clumsy.
No more now.
The Union Minister for Commerce, Industry & Textiles Shri Anand Sharma recently launched an eBiz portal, which is touted as India’s Government-to-Business (G2B) portal to enable businesses and investors to save time and costs and to improve the outlook of business environment in the country. The eBiz project, being executed by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Infosys Limited, is one of the 31 Mission Mode Projects under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). eBiz is a transformational project taking e-governance beyond online transactions to a transformation in the approach of the government in delivering services to investors and businesses throughout the business lifecycle.
Infosys, as part of the ten-year programme, will roll-out the various services of the project in a phased manner. During the first phase, Shri Sharma launched the License & Permit Information Wizard. The License & Permit Information Wizard provides relevant information pertaining to investors and businesses by providing answers to queries in an interview style format. The wizard has information on more than hundred services of Central government, pilot states and the private agencies.
The eBiz project envisages to metamorphose the business environment in the country by providing efficient, convenient, transparent and integrated electronic services to investors, industries and businesses in various fields ranging from information on forms and procedures, licenses, permits, registrations, approvals, clearances, permissions, reporting, filing, payments and compliances throughout the life-cycle of an industry or business entity. The essence of the project lies in the change in the approach of the government from being department-centric to customer-centric, in providing services to the business community. The eBiz portal will in its full-fledged form serve as a one-stop shop for delivery of convenient and efficient services to the investors and addresses the need of the business and industries right from the inception through the entire life cycle of the business.
The eBiz portal, once fully operational, will act as an electronic one-stop shop for all business licenses and permits. It also claims to eliminate the need to physically interface with several regulatory authorities at various levels. Apart from this, the portal will allow investors to file various returns, pay taxes and submit compliances through a single interface. The portal will also allow a single payment to be made electronically against a plethora of application forms for multiple services and subsequent apportionment and routing of payments to individual departments and agencies.
The eBiz portal will also lead to benefits for both the investors and the departments involved. eBiz will allow business users to access information & G2B services using a secure, efficient and easy-to-use online platform, thereby improving transparency and efficiency. The portal can be used by the investors to apply for approvals, licenses and permits needed to start and operate a business; submit forms with supporting artifacts online; to pay fees to the concerned departments online. Along with this, the portal will also send customised alerts and notifications to the business users apart from providing the facilities of status tracking and grievance redressal mechanisms.
The eBiz portal solution will also enable the departments to process applications efficiently, transparently and quickly. It will also guide the department users for end-to-end online processing. The portal provides facilities for file noting, observations and consultations too. The provision of automated routing of application to the processing officers as per department work flow is present in the portal. The departmental users can also electronically communicate with the applicants for further clarifications.
After Phase 1, the platform launch later this year will see the addition of two services of DIPP, namely Industrial License and Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandum, to the eBiz portal along with online payment facility. Later this year, during Phase 3, the Andhra Pradesh single window roll-out will be launched wherein a large number of services related to Andhra Pradesh single window services will be made available. The launch would showcase the transaction capabilities and shared services to an investor with all the investor and business related services for Andhra Pradesh on one portal. The next phase would set ground for launch of services pertaining to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana, along with integration with additional PSU banks. At the end of six years, it is expected that this project will expand to cover the whole country and provide over 200 G2B services, as well as other value added services. The eBiz portal in its fully functional face will leapfrog India’s business competitiveness through a single, service-oriented, event-driven interface for all G2B interactions.