Indian government has launched 11 central government services on its government-to-business portal eBiz, with the aim of making the process of setting up a business in India much simpler. The services on offer are from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Reserve Bank of India, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation and Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organisation.
Entrepreneurs will be able to submit forms and attachments, make payments, track status of applications and even obtain licenses/permits through the portal. This is likely to significantly reduce the time taken to set up a business, as most of the services offered by these government departments were thus far accessible partially through their respective websites, and mostly through physical submission of forms. Entrepreneurs and other business users will also receive SMS alerts for important notifications.
It’s worth noting that this eBiz platform is not new. It had first been launched by the UPA government in January last year. At the time, it offered 22 government services (including 8 central government services) such as issuance of PAN number, filing of returns, MSME registration, registration for Excise and Service Tax, among others.
Later in July last year, present Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said during his budget presentation that all central government departments and Ministries will integrate their services with the eBiz platform on priority by December 31 2014, which hasn’t happened. In fact, the number of services actually available on the site had reduced in six months, and the portal didn’t really work. The two services still available at the time were just links to sites on DIPP.
11 Services on offer:
Ministry of Corporate Affairs – Name Availability, Director Identification Number, Certificate of Incorporation and Commencement of Business
Central Board of Direct Taxes – Issue of Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Issue of Tax Deduction Account Number (TAN)
Reserve Bank of India – Advanced Foreign Remittance (AFR) and Foreign Collaboration-General Permission Route (FC-GPR)
Directorate General of Foreign Trade – Importer Exporter Code License
Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation – Employer Registration
Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organisation – Issue of Explosive License
Infosys has developed the eBiz portal, which has been jointly conceptualized by the government and National Institute of Smart Government (NISG). Over the next three years (starting from January 2014), which is the pilot phase, 26 central and 24 state services will be implemented across ten pilot states, including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.