Punjab, Haryana lose out to Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
When you get the industry off the ground as quickly as, for instance, ministers delivering on promised investments post foreign trips, you may call it ease of doing business. Guess what, the top leaders of Punjab and Haryana may have visited half-a-dozen countries in the last six months, promising foreign investments worth billions of dollars, here’s what it looks like in a World Bank report on ease of doing business: Punjab ranks 16th in the country’s 29 states and seven union territories. Haryana is ranked two spots above at 14th. Gujarat is on the top while Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand are placed at the second and third spots, respectively.
Edit: Ranking for investment
Others in the list of top 10 states, providing a better climate for setting up businesses and encouraging investments, include Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.
The northern states aren’t doing better with Himachal Pradesh at 17th position, Chandigarh at 24th and Jammu and Kashmir at 29th spot in the World Bank rankings.
But Punjab scores a first too: On parameter of setting up a new business as it features an online single window system for registrations and licenses that cover most of the regulatory services.
“Remarkably, Punjab is the only state in which the single window system allows application for all of the licences studied in this assessment, although some others come very close”, the World Bank report says.
The ranking of the states, prepared by the World Bank at the behest of the government, was based on eight specified parameters which included setting up of business, allotment of land, labour reforms and procedure for environmental clearance. The parameters also include infrastructure, procedure for registration for tax purposes and inspections for compliance of various norms.
As the state governments are locked in competition for attracting investments, this report measures the actionable criteria. It will help boost India’s chances of improving its poor ranking of the ‘ease of doing business’ index brought out by the World Bank where it is currently ranked at 142 among 189 nations.
A first-of-its-kind assessment, titled ‘Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms’, takes stock of reforms implemented by the states in the period January 1 to June 30, 2015 based on the 98-point action plan for business reforms agreed among the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and states and union territories in December last year.
According to the assessment, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan have implemented over 50 per cent of the action plan. Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are also among the top 10 states in the assessment. No state has implemented 75 per cent or more of the proposed reforms.
Making the case for enhancing the ease of doing business, World Bank country director Onno Ruhl, in his foreword of the report, said, “The stark reality is that India remains a difficult place to do business. A disproportionately high regulatory burden is borne by businesses in India today.”
This difficult was exemplified by India’s ranking at the 142nd position, among 182 nations ranked in the World Bank's Doing Business study, he added.