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Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru July 06 , 2020
In a boost to the pharmaceutical industry in Karnataka, the state government is gearing up to promulgate an ordinance for the implementation of its 2002 Karnataka Industries (Facilitation) Amendment Bill which will enable ease of doing business. The move, according to the drug manufacturers in the state, will accelerate investments, besides providing relief to entrepreneurs who otherwise have to run from pillar to post to seek the permissions.

This is a first-of-its kind initiative which will support entrepreneurs to initiate process without having to obtain any prior permission from the state government. The amended ordinance seeks to exempt the industries from obtaining sanction from multiple agencies for the first three years.

The government however will not wait for the bill to be passed by the Assembly but will soon promulgate an ordinance for the implementation. We are the first in the country to usher in this long-pending industrial reform to give a fillip to investment across industries. Investors merely need to submit a proposal to the Karnataka State High Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC) to start an industry or enterprise, said Jagadish Shettar, minister for industries.

Sunil Attavar, president, Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (KDPMA) appreciated the state government’s proposed move to amend the Industries (Facilitation) Act for small, medium & large-scale industries, he added.

The provisions will make the approval process very easy through a process of self-certification and a single-window clearance. We believe that the steps will make it attractive for entrepreneurs and facilitate further investments, he noted.

The Government of Karnataka has constituted sectoral committees under the Special Investment Promotion Taskforce under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary to the state government to attract investments from other countries.  KDPMA is happy to be a part of the committee for the pharma and medical sector, Attavar told Pharmabiz.
The governments of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Kerala have similar laws but they are applicable only to MSMEs, said minister Shettar adding that it was a landmark land law in the country where the investors will get a three-year leniency period to obtain the required licenses including the building permits, certificates from the pollution control board and other consents for utilities like power and water connections.

An acknowledgment letter from the SHLCC is sufficient to start the operations.  The government however will not wait for the bill to be passed by the assembly but will soon promulgate an ordinance for the implementation. The minister said that the law will remove the administrative hurdles being faced by the investors under the existing system and speed up the implementation of projects. It used to take a minimum three years for an industrial unit to start operations after taking approvals. The new law will now help to save time and result in quick employment generation.

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