Doing Business Index: Centre to hold meeting with 17 ‘laggard’ States/UTs

October 25, 2016 03:16 pm | Updated December 02, 2016 11:48 am IST - New Delhi

Peeved by the abysmal performance of 17 States/Union Territories (UTs) in effecting reforms for ease of doing business, the Centre will soon hold a special high-level meeting with them.

The States, among others, include Kerala and those in the entire North-Eastern region. They have managed to implement only 25 per cent or below of the 340-point ‘Business Reform Action Plan' that was circulated in late October 2015.

The performance on this ‘action plan’ is being considered for a State-wise ‘ease of doing business’ ranking in the spirit of 'competitive and cooperative federalism'. This year’s State-wise ranking will be released shortly by the Centre.

The 17 States/Union Territories that are laggards present a contrasting picture to the intense competition seen among the other States to grab top spots in the State-wise doing business index. The Centre’s portal on the 'business reform action plan' has a ‘real time ranking and tracking of the States/UTs’ on the basis of the implementation of the reform action plan.

At present, there are ten States that have an implementation percentage of 90 per cent or more, and these have been categorised as ‘leaders’. The number one rank is currently being held by two States — Andhra Pradesh and Telengana with a score of 99.09 per cent each. The next category is that of ‘aspiring leaders’ — those with an implementation rate between 60-90 per cent. There are currently seven States in that category, of which five have an implementation rate of over 80 per cent.

The third category is termed ‘acceleration required’ — those with an implementation percentage of 30-60 per cent. There are two States in this category.

The 17 poorly performing States/UTs are those falling in the last category called ‘jump-start needed’ with a 0-30 per cent implementation percentage. They include Kerala (24.92 per cent), Goa (18.82 per cent), Tripura (16.18 per cent), Assam (14.45 per cent), Daman & Diu (14.41 per cent), Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Manipur (1.47 per cent each), Nagaland & Puducherry (1.18 per cent each), Mizoram & Sikkim (0.59 per cent each), Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Meghalaya, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep (yet to implement any reform).

The 340 reform areas are broadly under categories including construction permit, environmental and labour registration, obtaining electricity connection, online tax-return filing, inspection reform, access to information and transparency, single window, land availability and commercial dispute resolution.

In its report, the Centre will highlight certain good practices under each head, which it will encourage other states to adopt. For instance, under ‘construction permit’ criterion, Telengana’s good practice is that it has replaced the requirement of an official No-Objection Certificate (NOC) with self-certification (provided one has complied with the required replanting activities). In the 'obtaining electricity connection'-parameter, Rajasthan has a system that allows online application, payment and tracking and monitoring. Under the ‘inspection reforms’, Gujarat has published a well-defined inspection procedure & checklist on its web site. Under ‘land availability’, Jharkhand has a GIS system providing details about the land earmarked for industrial use. Under ‘single window’, Uttar Pradesh has a good practice of having ensured that ‘NOC from Fire Department’ is provided as a service through the online single window system in a manner that allows online application, payments, tracking of status, approvals and issuance of the certificate(s).

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