Single Windows For Seamless Business

  • 3 mins read
  • 19th Apr,2021

The concept of Single Window as a one-stop solution for injecting more transparency in procedures and boosting Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) is gaining wide currency. In a more connected world post globalization, nations are gradually dispensing with the legacy systems and buying in the need for agile single windows for easier facilitation of trade and business. Imagine the plight of an investor who had to run through multiple windows to get an array of permits as official processes occurred in disjointed silos. It was a drag on investor confidence and scaled back the growth and investment engine. Much of the scenario has transformed now and, for the better. Today, you realize how nations are scrambling to outperform each other in wooing investors with the World Bank ranking countries on ‘EoDB’ index. At the latest EoDB rankings released by the World Bank in 2020, New Zealand aced the rankings with an overall score of 86.8 followed by Singapore, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Denmark and Republic of Korea. India scaled up its slot by 14 places to finish 63rd on the pecking order of 190 countries with a score of 71. Within India, Andhra Pradesh was the best state to do business with Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand occupying the next slots.



Doing Business Score

New Zealand






Hong Kong SAR






Republic of Korea






Source: Doing Business Database, World Bank.

EoDB Rankings of Indian states for 2019
1. Andhra Pradesh
2. Uttar Pradesh
3. Telangana
4. Madhya Pradesh
5. Jharkhand


How Have Single Windows Evolved?

ASEAN was the first regional economic community to conceptualize a regional Single Window Project. Others have followed suit. To illustrate, the EU wide Single Window initiative of the Directorate-General Taxation and the EU Maritime Single Window of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport. The concept is recognized and promoted by several world organizations concerned with trade facilitation- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and its Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), World Customs Organization (WCO), the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade and Transport in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT). The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement encourages all its members to set up a Single Window. In India, the Department of Policy for Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) is nudging all states to be a part of the proposed Single Window clearance system and the investment clearance cell. The cell will allow digital access to regulators, policymakers and facilitators irrespective of their geographical location and also provide time-bound approvals and a real-time status update to investors.



Benefits of Single Window Systems

When implemented effectively, Single Window systems offer benefits like enhanced revenue, faster clearance times and improved transparency & governance for the economy. But the mandate of such seamless single windows goes beyond dismantling the red tape and providing swifter approvals. The World Bank has estimated that automating customs processes can save as much as $115 per container in seaborne trade. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD), automating processes can trim trade costs by 2.4 per cent for low income economies, 2.3 per cent for upper middle-income economies and 2.1 per cent for lower middle income economies. 


CSM’s Single Window System: Delight in Contactless Interface

CSM Technologies has developed a paperless, contactless Single Window system which balances regulatory oversight with investor facilitation. It eases the investor journey from project conception to implementation and arms the state machinery with real time visibility on the headway made by the project.


A seamless, one-stop portal provides an assisted journey. So, whether the investor is looking for availability of land bank, post allotment services, synchronized inspection of industrial unit or even grievance redressal, he can access everything through scroll and clicks on an integrated portal. The homogenized portal is loaded with a multitude of investor friendly features:

  • Common Application Forms for all industrial approvals
  • GIS enabled online portal for identification of land parcels for industries
  • Grant of utility permits licenses and No Objection Certificates (NoCs)
  • Calculation and disbursal of incentives
  • Integration with Building Plan Approval System, Automated Post Allotment Application, CSR Monitoring System and Inspection Management System
  • Online payments for all transactions
  • Digitally signed receipts and certifications
  • Inbuilt Grievance Redressal Mechanism
  • Dashboards and Reports for tracking application status  


Going ahead, Single Window Systems would need a touch of ‘Digital Transformation’ to deliver for Industry 4.0. One example of such transformation is the emergence of Virtual Data Rooms to create Golden Records for industries. More niche technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be deployed to build an enriching investor experience. It’s not a case of aligning processes with technologies or vice versa but tapping the synergy between the two.

Jayajit Dash

Research Analyst - Public Policy

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