Andhra tops 'ease of doing business' ranking

Andhra Pradesh for the third time in a row has topped in the ease of doing annual business ranking of states and Union Territories by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

The ranking is based on the implementation of the business reform action plan 2019 by states and UTs, according to a report released by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday.

The exercise is aimed at promoting competition among states with a view to improving the business climate to attract domestic as well as foreign investments.

Registering a jump of 10 places in the rankings, Uttar Pradesh occupied the second position in 2019 as against 12th in 2018.

Telangana slipped to the third position from second in 2018. It was followed by Madhya Pradesh (4th), Jharkhand (5th), Chhattisgarh (6th), Himachal Pradesh (7th), Rajasthan (8th), West Bengal (9th) and Gujarat (10th).

Delhi’s position improved to 12th from 23rd in the last edition, while Gujarat slipped from 5th place in 2018.

Among the laggard states and UTs in the ranking, Assam was at 20th, J&K at 21st, Goa at 24th, Bihar at 26th and Kerala 28th place. Tripura was ranked at the bottom 36th.

Releasing the report, Sitharaman said that states have taken the exercise in its true sense and it would help states and UTs to become better place to do business.

“Some states have shown extraordinary energy in putting together action plans and making sure that reforms happen. States have embraced the true spirit behind the State Business Reforms Action Plan,” she said.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said these rankings reflect the efforts that states and UTs are doing to better their systems and processes.

It is also a wake-up call for those states which have slipped in the ranking, he said.

Goyal said that the ministry is working on steps like creating a single-window system for approvals and clearances.

In 2015 Index, Gujarat featured at the top, with Andhra Pradesh grabbing the second position and Telangana 13th. In 2016, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana jointly topped the chart. In the last ranking released in July 2018, Andhra Pradesh topped the chart, followed by Telangana and Haryana (3rd).

Haryana slid to 16th position in the latest ranking.

This was the fourth edition of the report, which was first released in 2015. The Business Reform Action Plan 2018-19 includes 181 reform points covering 45 business regulatory areas such as access to information, single window system, labour, and environment.

The DPIIT in collaboration with the World Bank conducts an annual reform exercise for all States/UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP).

In the World Bank’s latest ‘Doing Business’ report, India has jumped 14 places to the 63rd position.