J&K at 21 is way behind States/UTs in ease of doing business

Though a year has passed since Centre abrogated Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir continues to be laggard in Ease of Doing Business survey done by the Government of India in collaboration with World Bank.

Ease of Doing Business (EODB) is a joint initiative by the Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the World Bank to improve the overall business environment in the States and Union Territories of India.

The survey report which was released on Saturday in presence of Union Minister for Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman has ranked J&K among laggard States/UTs placing it at 21st spot.

Jammu and Kashmir is among very few states/UTs which have not shown any significant improvement. In 2019, J&K was ranked at 22nd spot last year.

J&K’s special status was diluted on August 5, with the government of India stating that the erstwhile was deprived of investment and developmental opportunities by this special provision in the constitution which was read down.

A cursory look at the report points out to the fact that smaller states like Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh are placed well ahead of J&K.  Even J&K is behind neighboring states like including Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, which are ranked at 7, 19 and 16 slots, respectively.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, in collaboration with the World Bank conducts the ‘ease of doing business’ exercise for all states and union territories under the Business Reform Action Plan. The BRAP 2018-19 includes 181 reform points covering 45 business regulatory areas such as access to information, single window system, labour, and environment.

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.

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).

The report of EODB has come on the heels of a recently released report on the Export index which showed J&K at the bottom of the ranking table.