Gujarat to review policies on tax, new business set up

Gujarat had received overall top ranking in the report by the World Bank and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion that was released last week and had implemented 71.14 per cent of all business reforms.

Written by Surabhi | Published:September 22, 2015 2:11 am

The Gujarat government plans to review its policies for setting up businesses and tax procedures in the state — two areas where it was rated low in a recent report on ranking of states for implementation of business reforms.

“We are not in the top five in these two parameters. We want to ensure that we are as compliant in these two areas as we are in the other six,” said Arvind Agrawal, additional chief secretary, Gujarat Industries and Mines Department told The Indian Express, adding that the state plans to meet at least 90 per cent of all requirements by the time the next ranking is done.

Additionally, the state also plans to focus on faster enforcement of contracts, where it was on the third spot.

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Gujarat had received overall top ranking in the report by the World Bank and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion that was released last week and had implemented 71.14 per cent of all business reforms.

Of the eight criteria, it was, however, not amongst the top five states in parameters of setting up a business and registering and complying with tax procedures. For enforcement of contracts, Gujarat was at the third spot with Maharashtra leading the rankings.

“We have got an investor facilitation cell and we were also the pioneers in the Industrial Extension Bureau that provides single-window mechanism for investors in the state. But it was felt that it does not have seamless integration with other departments,” Agrawal said, adding that the state will work on it as well as on improving its tax procedures.

Similarly, on enforcement of contracts, the state plans to work with its legal department, the high court and a Supreme Court-appointed committee on setting up the online registry. “We are not happy with the third position,” he said.

Though the state is working on reforms on state labour laws and better implementation of existing ones, it is waiting for the Centre to go ahead with labour law amendments.

“Gujarat already has relaxed labour laws in special economic zones. The state labour department is also working on improvement in the implementation of reforms,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the issue of the implementation of the goods and services tax that investors are keenly awaiting, Agrawal said that the state is geared up for the roll out of the indirect tax reform.

But declining to comment on the state’s position on the tax, he said, “Our state government at the level of the finance minister has already conveyed its views to the Government of India.”

In the past, Gujarat has raised concerns over the roll out of the tax, fearing a loss of revenue.

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