Nitin Gadkari inaugurates the Sagarmala Development Company: The company will play a major role in realizing India’s maritime potential

The Minister of Shipping and Road Transport & Highways  Nitin Gadkari has said that projects worth Rs. 1 Lakh Crore under Sagarmala programme are at various stages of implementation and development. The Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013. The company has an initial Authorized Share Capital of Rs. 1,000 Crore and a subscribed share capital of Rs. 90 Crore.

The main objective of the company is to identify port-led development projects under the Sagarmala Programme and provide equity support for the project Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) set up by the Ports / State / Central Ministries and funding window and /or implement only those residual projects which cannot be funded by any other means / mode.

The Cabinet had approved the formation of the SDC under the administrative control of the Ministry of Shipping in July 2016. The company would help in structuring activities, bidding out projects for private sector participation, identifying suitable risk management measures for strategic projects across multiple States / Regions and obtaining requisite approvals and clearances.

The implementation of the identified projects would be taken up by the relevant Ports, State Governments/Maritime Boards, Central Ministries, through private or PPP mode. The Company would act as the nodal agency for coordination and monitoring of all the currently identified projects under Sagarmala as well as other projects emerging from the master plans or other sources.

It would also undertake the preparation of the detailed master plans for the Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) identified as part of the National Perspective Plan (NPP) SDC would be raising funds as debt/equity (as long term capital), as per the project requirements, by leveraging resources provided by the Government of India and from multi-lateral and bilateral funding agencies. It would also aim to increase the scope of private sector participation in project development.

The incorporation of SDC is part of the ambitious Sagarmala Programme by the Government of India which aims to harness India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes. The concept of the Sagarmala Programme was approved by the Cabinet in March 2015.

Government ‘Ease of Doing Business’ meeting aims to raise India’s ranking among top 50 in the World Bank report

Government of India, in its efforts to improve the business climate of the country and also improve country’s ranking in the World Bank report on Doing Business, held a meeting on 19 December, 2016 under the chairmanship of  Finance Minister.  Some of the main decision taken during the meeting were -

1. eBiz portal shall be mandated for starting a business which shall include three functions of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Registration for PAN and TAN and also registration for EPFO & ESIC.

2. Ministry of Corporate Affairs, CBDT, Ministry of Labour & Employment will work towards reducing the number of procedures for starting a business to 4 and the number of days to start a business also to 4.

3. Shram Suvidha Portal shall be the only portal for filing the return, challan and making online payment for EPFO & ESIC.

4. Department of Revenue and Ministry of Shipping shall work towards increasing the number of direct delivery consignments to 40 percent by end of this month. The Departments shall also ensure that the cost and time to export and import gets reduced substantially to bring India within top 50 ranks.

5. Ministry of Corporate Affairs shall work with the concerned stakeholders so that the provisions as recently enabled under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code are implemented through NCLT.

6. To further improve country’s ranking in the indicator of ‘Getting Credit’, Department of Financial Services and Ministry of Corporate Affairs shall work towards integrating CERSAI database with ROC Registry of Charges to create a single registry of assets.

7. In the indicator of Enforcing Contracts, Hon’ble Commerce and Industry Minister mentioned that country ranks poorly at 172 on this indicator and efforts need to be taken on many reforms to bring the country among the top 50 nations. She also mentioned that initiative of eCourts should be expedited for electronic filing of complaints, summons and payments especially in the Commercial Courts.

8. On ‘Construction Permit’, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development mentioned that the procedures shall be brought down to 8 within 60 days. However Hon’ble Finance Minister desired that Department should explore the possibility of commencing the construction on architect’s certification and approval granted only at the time of the occupancy of the building.