| The link for SIPB approvals on the industries department website
The government has dedicated a section on the industries department website where applications of projects could be uploaded for approvals.
The website of the industries department — www.industries.bih.nic.in — now has an independent icon called “apply online for SIPB approval”.
The entrepreneurs would, however, have to pay more for filing the applications because the fee has been enhanced. Sources in the department said the online system would be formally launched on January 30. The hike in fee issue had raised some concerns for entrepreneurs and sources said once the fee is “decided” the system would go complete online.
In October 2013, department officers had said that Udyog Mitra, which is a wing of the industries department, was in the process of developing a system under which applications regarding projects in Bihar would be accepted online. This will save entrepreneurs from running from one table to the other.
“The system was being developed since October. Now, we are ready with the system. Any entrepreneur wishing that his project gets approved and listed in the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) had to deposit a fee of Rs 1,000. This fee now has been increased to Rs 3,000. A formal notification would be sent out soon. There are some confusions over the fee hike. Once the fee problem is solved, the online system will be fully operational, helping several entrepreneurs,” an official at the Udyog Mitra said.
“It was the Udyog Mitra which was given the responsibility to facilitate the system of online approvals. An entrepreneur just has to click on the icon present on the department website and follow the procedures. In addition to this, a system under which the payment of the fee can be done online too, has been introduced. Once the confusion over the fee gets cleared, the entrepreneurs will be informed and the process will start. The fee increase is expected to be approved by the cabinet,” another officer said.
Sources said that the increase in fee was justified. “Udyog Mitra is in the last leg of appointing a private agency to help entrepreneurs. The process of SIPB approvals has been made stringent. All proposals coming to the board is being scanned. The board studies the DPR and decides whether the project is viable or not and whether the entrepreneur is really interested. The Udyog Mitra and the private agency will be doing all the possible lobbying for the projects coming in for approvals. They will be assisting entrepreneurs in every possible way. Hence, an increase in the fee is justified. With the online system in place, the entrepreneur will not have to move around the departments because everything will be available on the click of the mouse,” the official said.
Industrialists said they did not have information about the fee hike. “It has not been announced yet. However, an increase is not a good idea considering that investments in the state are poor. An entrepreneur is investing a lot of money on a project. It is not justified to spend Rs 3,000 just to get the project approved by the SIPB. There is also no guarantee that the project will be approved by the board,” an industrialist said.
The department has uploaded the applications, namely, those for claiming exemption from stamp duty, application for grants, checklist of documents regarding preparation of DPR on its website. These can be easily downloaded.