Run a business? There are 26,134 ways you can go to jail

Economic Times, October 01, 2021

Problems are not limited to merely starting a business. Even when it comes to day-to-day affairs, businesses face a plethora of rules and regulations that can be very difficult to keep track of.

Citing an example, Pradeep Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International, says even for intercorporate borrowing, a friend was sent to jail on a weekend — which reduces the chance of getting bail till the court reopens. “Such examples are absolutely exasperating in terms of ease of running a business. In fact, this is the problem we should focus on and not on ease of getting permits, whether or not you got the registration in time or what have you,” says the head of the consumer advocacy group.

Mehta says there are several issues, and chief among them is the lack of accountability. “We all know you have provided too much discretionary powers to the bureaucracy. They have been given so much power that they can harass you. Secondly, many of the legal provisions are so badly drafted that they continue to generate negative outcomes. The focus has to be on ease of running business, particularly to handle the nuisance value,” says Mehta.

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