Andhra Pradesh has again retained the top position in the ranking of states and union territories (UTs) based on the implementation of the business reform action plan, according to a report released by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday. Uttar Pradesh and Telangana were placed at the second and third place, respectively, in the ease of doing business for 2019, which has been prepared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
"I congratulate top three states - Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana - for consistently taking reform steps. I am sure this competition is only going to get healthier, more reforms will come in the times to come," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at the release of the state rankings. She added the ranking makes states and UTs a better place to do business.
"Aatma Nirbhar Bharat will lead to greater export competitiveness, better pricing and quality of exports, which show the Indian skill of making things to perfection," she said. The FM said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Aatma Nirbhar Bharat is not for making India inward-looking "but to build on our strengths, one of the ways in which we can become more competitive".
The FM said India's commitment to reforms is being taken seriously by foreign investors, resulting in good FDI inflow even though India had one of the strictest COVID-19 lockdowns in the world. "Prime Minister took COVID-19 as an opportunity, that is why every Aatma Nirbhar Bharat announcement also included a very strong and distinct reform announcement, an opportunity to accelerate the pace of reforms," she added.
While announcing the list of winners, she said 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.
Speaking at the event, Minister for Railways and Commerce Piyush Goyal said the Ease of Doing Business rankings released today is a reflection of the efforts made by states. "The rankings are competitive. India is among the very few nations which has state-specific rankings, which will, in turn, help the nation improve its ranking," he said.
He said the Centre is looking at a digital platform where all central, state and local approvals get captured on a single website through a single payment gateway, thereby improving Ease of Doing Business further. "We have started a pilot of a Land Bank where more than 1 lakh hectares of industrial land is available for industry to come and start manufacturing in India," he said.
Goyal said the PM had set an extremely bold target of bringing digital connectivity to every village in 1,000 days, which will prepare India for global engagement and increase its share in global trade.
The system of ranking states based on implementation of State Business Reform Action Plan will fit in very well in the evolution of a New India, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. He added this ranking will completely transform the experience of doing business in India.
The parameters include areas such as construction permit, labour regulation, environmental registration, access to information, land availability and single-window system. The DPIIT conducts the exercise for all States/UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP). In the last ranking released in July 2018, Andhra Pradesh had topped the chart, followed by Telangana and Haryana.