Maharashtra’s Ease of Doing Business Reforms: Single Window Clearance System
This year, the western state of Maharashtra introduced a new plan, Maha Parwana, to attract greater investments in its industries. The plan rolled out several incentives, including a single-window clearance system.
Since late June, facilitated by the Maharashtra government, all companies in the state whose project investments are worth over INR 5 billion (US$67.74 million) will no longer be burdened with needing clearances from multiple departments.
These companies must apply to the Maharashtra Industry, Trade, and Investment Facilitation Cell (MAITRI) to obtain an assurance letter (Maha Parwana).
The MAITRI is a single-window system and if the application is complete and the company has proved its eligibility, they will secure online approvals within 48 hours. Earlier, companies had to wait for six months.
Who is eligible under the Maha Parwana plan?
Only non-polluting industries, that fall under the orange and green criteria as announced by the Maharashtra pollution control board, will be allowed to avail this accelerated system. Hence only non-polluting units can make use of the government’s new plan.
What clearances are available under the single window clearance system?
The government has assured that industries under the Maha Parwana plan will receive all the necessary 25 statutory permissions and clearances needed from respective state government departments and within the prescribed duration of 30 days.
If the business applicant does not receive the necessary approvals within this time frame, the clearances will automatically be deemed cleared. After clearance, companies can immediately begin their operations.
Assigning a relationship manager to companies
The plan has proposed assigning a relationship manager to companies for hand holding and depending on the size of their operations. The relationship manager will be fully qualified and will act as a liaison between the company and bureaucratic authorities; these managers will resolve any regulatory issues faced by the company and interact with relevant government offices on their behalf.
Major highlights of the Maha Parwana plan include:
- Online permission granted within 48 hours;
- Statutory permissions and clearances cleared within 30 days;
- Orange and green industries will need minimal approval requirements; and
- The relationship manager will guide the companies from day one.
Other investment facilitation measures: The Zero Parwana plan
Under this plan, investors from orange, green, and red zones can submit their proposals with all the necessary details to a special Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) portal through self-certification.
The orange and green zones include the following industries: electronics, engineering, food processing, logistics and garments and textiles. The red zone includes chemical, paper, bulk drug, and steel industries.
MIDC will issue consent within 24 hours to investors in the green and orange zones, after they have submitted their proposals with all necessary details on the special portal through self-certification. Consent will be released within 15 days in the case of red zone investors.
New units that will be set up in Maharashtra under the Zero Parwana plan will be free from obtaining government permissions for three years.
Major highlights of the Zero Parwana plan include:
- Proposals to be submitted online via self-certification; and
– Within 24 hours for the orange and green zones
– Within 15 days for the red zone
- Exempt from requiring further / renewing government clearances for three years.