CUTS Urges To Look Beyond EODB; Focus On Bridging Trust Deficit

KNN India, February 23, 2024

In a recent webinar hosted by CUTS International, key stakeholders converged to discuss the crucial link between streamlined business regulations and economic growth.

The webinar, titled “Beyond EODB: Enabling Ease of Running a Business by Bridging Trust Deficit,” aimed to address the challenges faced by businesses in India due to regulatory complexities.

The discussion paper proposed revising laws to limit official discretion, enhance accountability, and introduce safeguards, aiming to streamline processes and bolster business confidence.

It advocates subjecting laws to legitimacy tests and prioritising reforms to minimise regulatory barriers.

Recommendations include preventing abuse of discretion, addressing judicial delays, and leveraging technology for efficient governance.

A strict litigation policy and transparency-centric approach are suggested to mitigate challenges in government-business interactions, fostering an environment conducive to Ease of Running Business (EORB).

Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS International, highlighted the significance of creating transparent and business-friendly regulatory frameworks to attract both domestic and foreign investments.

Amol Kulkarni, Director of Research at CUTS, provided an overview of the discussion paper titled “Bridging Trust Deficit: Enabling Ease of Running a Business in India,” shedding light on the prevalent trust deficit between government entities and businesses.

The discussion emphasised the need for the government to act as a facilitator rather than an obstacle for businesses.

Mehta highlighted procedural burdens and the lack of accountability, particularly affecting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

During the panel discussion, Danish Hashim, Chief of Ease of Doing Business at CII, advocated for a centralised Grievance Redressal System to ensure accountability and streamline processes.

He stressed the importance of leveraging technology to combat corruption.

Legal concerns were addressed by Angira Singhvi Lodha, Partner at Khaitan & Khaitan, who proposed an Ombudsman system similar to the banking sector to address issues of unease in litigation.

Bhuvana Anand, Co-founder of Prosperiti, emphasised the need for a shift in attitudes towards reforms, especially concerning MSMEs.

Rishi Agrawal, Co-founder & CEO of Teamlease Regtech, underscored the disproportionate compliance burden borne by MSMEs and advocated for modernising regulations to align with contemporary times.

Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General of FISME, stressed the necessity of targeted reforms for starting and conducting businesses, particularly for micro-enterprises in the informal sector.

Jacob Crasta, representing Laghu Udyog Bharti, highlighted the importance of fair treatment for entrepreneurs and advocated for stringent punishment for guilty officials.

The webinar served as a platform to stimulate discussions on the importance of implementing reforms aimed at easing business operations, thereby fostering economic growth.

By addressing regulatory hurdles and bridging trust deficits, stakeholders aim to create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive in India.

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