Andhra, Telangana top ‘ease of doing business’ chart (Roundup)

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are the new joint top-ranked states this year in terms of ease of doing business, even as the north-eastern region continues to lag at the bottom of the pyramid, says a report released on Monday.

While Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh figure in the top five, Haryana, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra are the other states among the top 10 this year.

Prepared by the Centre in collaboration with the World Bank, the “Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms, 2016”, is based on a ranking by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

The report tracks the level of implementation of norms by states, making it easier to do business there.

“This is the second year of the report and the states have really been competing in implementing reforms,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while releasing the report here.

“Telangana was at 13 last year; Haryana (at 6th position this year) was ranked 14 and Uttarakhand was at 23 (at 9th position this year),” she said to illustrate the competition among states.

“While only seven states implemented more than 50 per cent of the reforms in question last year, this time 18 states have implemented more than that among the 340 reform items listed,” Sitharaman said.

“Last year, not a single state had implemented 75 per cent of the reforms listed, whereas this year more than 15 states have done so,” she added.

At least 32 states and UT administrations have submitted evidence of implementation of 7,124 reforms, a Union Commerce Ministry release here said.

World Bank Country Director Junaid Ahmad said the latest ranking showed that the low-income states have outperformed the others.

“The important lesson of this report is how doing business is getting decentralised and unleashing the economic might of India,” Ahmad said, adding that “Brazil and Russia are the other two big countries that are also moving at a sub-national level like India”.

The parameters by which the states have been ranked are single-window system for approvals, tax reforms, construction permits, environment and labour reforms, inspection reforms and paperless courts.

However, the north-eastern states continue to rank at the bottom of the pyramid, scoring as low as 0.30 per cent in terms of implementing reforms for ease of doing business.

“The north-east, Jammu and Kashmir and some union territories need a lot of attention,” Sitharaman said.

According to the report, Tripura scored the highest among the north-eastern states with 16.67 per cent reforms and was ranked at 22nd position for 2016, showing an improvement from its previous rank of 26 in 2015.

However, Assam was ranked 24th with a score of 14.29 per cent, falling from its previous rank of 22 last year.

Following Assam were Nagaland (1.49 per cent) at 26th position, Manipur (1.19 per cent) at 28th, Mizoram (0.89 per cent) at 29th, and Sikkim (0.60 per cent) at 30th position.

The report showed that Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh were at the lowest rank of 31 with a joint score of 0.30 per cent.

Also released on Monday is a new index by the NITI Aayog, which looks at implementation of reforms in making agricultural marketing easier in various states. The index shows Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan top the rankings.

Commenting on the latest report, the government of Odisha said the state is now recognised as a “leader” in terms of implementation of business reforms.

“Odisha has again shown the way to other states with an overall increase of score by over 40 per cent points to 92.73 per cent,” a state government release said in Bhubaneshwar.

“Over the past year, the state has undertaken a number of business reforms, key among these being the Central Inspection Framework for industries and integration of business-related services with the eBiz online platform,” it added.

Industry chamber FICCI complimented the central government on the ranking report.

“This exercise has instituted the competitive spirit of federalism in the states to carry out business reforms thereby motivating them to introduce measures for reducing compliance burden for starting and operating the business,” Secretary General A. Didar Singh said in a statement here.

–IANS

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