Kerala CM launches key projects to make investment process smooth

Toll Free No, upgraded single-window portal and e-news letter to further enhance EoDB
Seeking to further enhance the of Ease of Doing Business in Kerala, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today launched a dedicated Toll Free Call service, Investment Facilitation Centre and the updated version of the single-window clearance portal to make the investment processes fast, efficient, effective and transparent. The Chief Minister, through video conference, also unveiled the e-News Letter” Investor Konnect” of the Department of Industries and Commerce, strengthening the communication channel with leaders of industry and related fields. 
These projects, launched as part of Invest Kerala 2020 campaign, come in tandem with a series of efforts by the Government that had simplified, rationalized and fast-tracked investment rules and procedures in the last four years. The launch of the new projects fulfils the commitment made by the Chief Minister before leading industrialists at the Global Investors Meet ASCEND 2020, held in Kochi in January this year.
‘’The interventions and initiatives of the State Government in the last four years have transformed Kerala into an ideal investment destination. Investors themselves have acknowledged this and the efforts of the government have yielded concrete results,” the Chief Minister said on the occasion.
“Unfortunately, Kerala had for quite some time suffered from an impression that it was not an investor-friendly state, though that was not entirely based on the objective situation. But that has changed. Now the investors enjoy total confidence in Kerala,” the Chief Minister said.
Noting that no industrialist in the state would now complain of disruptions by workers, the Chief Minister said whatever unhealthy practices that existed in isolated pockets had been resolved by taking the Trade Unions into confidence.  If such tendencies lurk their head again, the authorities should take stern action, he added.
Asserting that Kerala offered the best investment ambience and opportunities in a wide range of sectors, Hon’ble Industries Minister Shri E P Jayarajan, who presided over the function, said manufacturing of health and medicinal products and devices was an area that would offer great scope in the post-pandemic period.
Noting that the recent Ease of Doing Business ranking of states by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recently was not based on a scientific assessment, Shri Jayarajan said the state government had written to the Centre about this.
Dr K Ellangovan IAS, Principal Secretary (Industries), said the services being launched would make the investment process in the state more expeditious and hassle-free. 
The Toll Free number--1800 890 1030—set up by the Department of Industries will provide all information on investment related queries. Linked to a Call Centre hired for the purpose, the facility will also provide handholding support and act as a channel for investor community to access information.
The Service of the Call Centre, to be provided in Malayalam and English, will be available from 8AM to 8PM on all working days. The Call Centre will record the called contact details and the query, in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and the status of the queries resolved/ unresolved/ forwarded to line departments will be captured. The Call Centre will share the daily, weekly and monthly report to the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).
The dedicated Investment Facilitation Centre set up in KSIDC will receive, track and resolve all investment related issues. A one-point centre for all investment related matters, it will serve as the back office for the Single-Window Board and the proposed Investment Bureau. It will be managed by a mix of KSIDC staff and experts outsourced. 
The upgraded version of Kerala Single Window Interface for Fast and Transparent Clearance portal (KSWIFT 2.0) will considerably reduce the strain of physical interaction by entrepreneurs for securing licenses and clearances. 
Launched in 2019, K-SWIFT had on-board 16 departments and agencies in the system for issuing as many as 33 licenses, clearance and permits. Since entrepreneurs have been demanding that even the renewal of licenses be made available in the K-SWIFT platform, KSIDC and NIC had worked together and revised the system to include renewal of licenses in 16 Departments. This will allow existing industrial units to register in the portal and get the renewals for the licenses and permits issued through the corresponding line departments.

The newsletter series Investor Konnect aims at strengthening the communication with leaders in various fields, investors, foreign consulates and embassies, trade bodies and other key stakeholders. It will provide the updates on events, changes in policies, new schemes, reforms and all other relevant information.
It will carry forewords from the Chief Minister, Industries Minister, details about Invest Kerala digital platforms, recent events, investor success stories, achievements of the Department, know your rules, message from MD’s desk. 
Investor Konnect will be mailed to more than 2000 select entrepreneurs in the state and outside, and made available on the Official websites of KSIDC, KINFRA and Department of Industries and Commerce. 
Shri APM Mohammed Hanish IAS (Secretary Industries), Shri M G Rajamanickam IAS (MD, KSIDC), Shri V R Premkumar IAS (Director, DIC), Shri Santhosh Koshi Thomas, MD, KINFRA, and Shri Suraj S, CEO KBIP, were present.
Representatives of industry and trade bodies CII, FICCI and KSSIA also attended the online meet.

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